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Prof. Myron I. Darker 





1603-1616. 2 vols. 8vo. 1863. 

1617-1623. 2 vols. 8vo. 1869. 

HISTORY of ENGLAND under the DUKE of 
BUCKINGHAM and CHARLES I. 1624-1628. 2 vols. 8vo. 


from the DEATH of BUCKINGHAM to the DECLARA- 
1628-1637. 2 vols. 8vo. J 877- 


1637-1642. 2 vols. 8vo. 1881. 

The above Volumes were revised and re-issued in a cheaper form, 
under the title of ' A History of England, from the Accession of 
James I. to the Outbreak of the Civil War, 1603-1642.' 10 vols. 
Crown 8vo. 1883-4. 

HISTORY of the GREAT CIVIL WAR. 1642-1649. 
(3 vols.) 

VOL. I. 1642-1644. 8vo. 1886. 

VOL. II. 1644-1647. 8vo. 1889. 

VOL. III. 1647-1649. 8vo. 1891. 

These Volumes have been revised and re-issued in a cheaper 
form, in 4 vols. crown 8vo. uniform with the ' History of England, 
1603-1642.' ^ 1893. 

TECTORATE, 1649-1660. Vol. I. 1649-1651. 8vo. 1894. 










1 6 3 S 1 639 




All rigKtt rtstrvtd 



F v. 8 




1615 Sir Oliver St. John, Lord 
Deputy . 

1610-20 The Wexford planta- 
tion . . . . 
The religious difficulty 

1612 Waterford elects recusant 

1615 The charter of Waterford 

1621 St. John created Lord 


1622 Lord Falkland succeeds 

Grandison as Lord De- 
puty. . . . 

1623 Proclamation for the ban- 

ishment of the priests 

1624 State of the army in Ire- 

land . . . . 

1626 The charter of Waterford 

restored . 
First draft of the Graces . 


The Irish nobility con- 
sulted . 14 

1627 Bishop Downham's ser- 

mon . . -15 

Attempt to induce the 
Irish to support the 
army . 16 

1628 A contribution agreed to . 17 
The amended Graces . 17 
Parliament summoned and 

postponed . .18 

1629 Difficulties with the Catho- 

lics . . 19 
Dissensions in the Irish 

Council . . .20 
1623-29 The Byrnes of Wick- 
low . . 21 
1629 Falkland's position shaken 26 
Falkland recalled . . 27 
1632 Wentworth appointed Lord 

Deputy . 28 



1632 The Irish officials and the 

Irish Parliament . 29 

Wentworth's system of 
government . . . 30 

His view of the situation in 
Ireland . . 32 


The Earl of Cork 
Wentworth means to see 

with his own eyes . 33 

1633 Arrives in Dublin . . 34 
Obtains a prolongation of 

the contribution . 35 




His confidence in the 
power of government . 36 

Restores the discipline of 
the army . 37 

His relations with the Irish 
Council and the King . 37 

L'ase of Lorenzo Gary . 38 

Trade encouraged . 39 

Condition of the Church . 4 1 

Bedell at Kilmore . . 41 

Wentworth's account of 
the state of the Church . 43 

The Ear) of Cork's seizure 
of Church property 
Lady Cork's tomb . 44 

Church ceremonies . . 44 
1634 Preparations for a Parlia- 
ment . . -45 

Wentworth's resolution 
about the Graces . . 46 

His speech at the opening 
of Parliament . . 48 

Parties in the House of 
Commons . . 50 


Six subsidies granted . 50 
Wentworth's struggle with 

the Catholic party . . 51 
The Irish Convocation . 52 
The English Articles 

adopted . . -53 

1635 Presbyterianism in Ulster. 54 
Proposed plantations in 

Ormond and Connaught 55 
English view of Irish 

affairs . . . 56 

The Londonderry settle- 
ment . . -59 
Forfeiture of the charter . 59 
Wentworth's visit to Con- 
naught . 60 
Obtains an acknowledg- 
ment of the King's title 
to Roscommon, Sligo, 
and Mayo . . 61 
Resistance of the Galway 

jury . . 62 

Irish view of Wentworth's 
policy . 64 



1635 Alliance between Went- 

worth and Laud . 67 

Laud and Cottington at 
the Treasury Commis- 
sion . . 69 
The soap patent . 71 
Contention between Laud 

and Cottington . . 75 
Quarrel between Laud and 

Windebank . . 76 

The Essex Forest Court . 77 
Coventry's speech to the 

judges . 78 

Announces that ship- 
money must be paid by 
all .' . -79 

State of the finances . 8 1 
Increase of the customs . 82 
Foreign complications . 83 
Issue of the second writ of 

ship-money . . 84 

Appeal to the fundamental 

laws . . 84 

The Forest Court in the 

New Forests . . 86 

Commission for Dean and 

Essex Fore-t . . 86 

Enlargement of Richmond 
Park . . .87 

Cottington expects to be- 
come Lord Treasurer . 

Case of Pell and Bagg in 
the Star Chamber 

Charles refuses to punish 


Collection of ship-money . 92 
Partial resistance . . 92 

The judges consulted . 94 
Was the King sole judge 

of danger ? . . . 95 

Is Parliament a constituent 

part of the State ? . 96 

Charles's offers to Spain 

and the Emperor . . 97 
Asks that Lorraine may be 
exchanged for the Pala- 
tinate . . -97 
The Elector Palatine in 

England . . . 99 

Taylor's mission to Vienna 100 
1636 The Emperor's offer . 101 
Fresh difficulties in enforc- 
ing the payment of ship- 
money . 102 
Chambers appeals in vain 

to i he King's Bench . 103 
State of feeling in the 
nation . . . 104 




1634 Thorough in Church and 

State . . . 106 

The metropolitical visita- 
tion . . . 107 
Visitation of Salisbury . 108 

1635 Brent's reports . . 108 
Various aspects of non- 
conformity . . .in 

Character of Laud's inter- 
ference . . .112 

Order for the removal of 
the communion-tables . 114 

Cases at Ware and Beck- 
ington . 116 

Case of Ward of Ipswich . 
'I he foreign churches in 

General irritation en used 

by Laud's proceedings . 
Gentlemen brought before 

the High Commission . 
Shelford's Five Discourses. 
Baxter's reminiscences 
Stafford's Female Glory . 
Growing fear of Rome 
Protestantism believed to 

be in danger 


I2 3 
I2 7 




1635 Position of the English 

Catholics . . . 130 

1634 Panzani's arrival . . 133 

1635 Panzani's conversations 

with Windebank . .133 
Deus, Natura, Gratia . 13-1 
Windebank's scheme for 

suppressing Puritanism . 135 
Terms of reunion with 

Rome discussed . 136 

Panzani's hopes . . 137 

Bishop Montague favours 

the reunion . . 138 

Brett's mission to the Pope 139 

1636 Cottington's intrigues . 140 
The King decides on 

making Bishop Juxon 
Treasurer . .141 

Laud holds aloof from 

Montague's conversation 
with Panzani 

Case of Lady Purbeck 

Laud vindicates his right 
to visit the Universities. 

Speech of Sir John Coke . 

Juxon attempts to recon- 
cile Laud and Winde- 

Laud's roughness ot 
manner . 

The King's visit to Oxford 

Decoration of the college 

No enthusiasm in the 
streets . 

T 43 







1036 Selden's Mare Clausum . 154 
The sovereignty of the 

seas . . . . 155 

Northumberland Admiral 

of the fleet . . 156 

Small results of his voyage 158 

Arundel's instructions . 158 

Anmdels negotiation at 

Vienna . . . 159 

Its failure . . . 160 

Leicester's negotiation in 

France . . . 161 

VI 11 



A Spanish army in France. 161 
Discussion of a treaty with 

France . . . 163 

Failure of the invasion of 

France . . . 163 

France strong through 

toleration . . . 164 

Conditions of toleration . 166 

1634 Measures taken by the 

Home Government 

against the settlements 
in New England . . 167 

Resistance in America . 168 

1635 Proceedings in Massa- 

chusetts . . 169 

Banishment of Roger 
Williams . . 170 


1634 English noblemen propose 

to emigrate . . . 171 

1635 Early life of the younger 

Vane . . . 172 

He arrives in Massachu- 
setts . . . 173 

1636 Mrs. Anne Hutchinson . 174 
Vane takes her part . 175 

1637 Discussion between Vane 

and Winthrop on tolera- 
tion . . . . 175 

Vane returns to England . 177 
1632 Baltimore projects the 

Maryland colony . 177 

The charter of Maryland . 178 

1638 Practical toleration in 

Maryland . . 180 



1636 Theory of Charles's govern- 
ment . . . 182 
1635 Wentworth's proposed 

plantation in Connaught. 183 

Laud warns Wentworth . 184 

Wentworth's quarrel with 
Mountnorris . . 185 

The dinner at the Lord 
Chancellor's . . 186 

The court-martial on 
Mountnorris . .187 

Wentworth's account of 

his proceedings . .189 
1636 Mountnorris expelled from 

office . . . 193 

Wentworth visits England 
and defends his adminis- 
tration . . . 194 

The King approves of his 
conduct . . . 197 

Nature of his rule in Ire- 
land . . . 198 



1636 English finance . . 199 
Issue of the third ship- 
money writ . . . 200 

Danby's letter to the King. 201 
Charles shrinks from sum- 
moning Parliament . 202 

1637 Warwick's protest . . 203 
Charles prepares to assist 

his nephew . . 203 

Fresh overtures from 

France . . . 204 

Charles consults the judges 

on the legality of his levy 

of ship-money . . 205 

Declaration by the judges. 208 
Legal and political aspects 

of the question . . 208 
A treaty with France 

accepted . .210 

Wentworth's comment on 
Charles's foreign policy. 211 

Comparison between 

Wentworth and Riche- 
lieu . . . . 214 

Nature of Wentworth's 
mistakes . -215 

The French refer the con- 
sideration of the treaty 
to their allies . . 217 

Windebank's overtures to 
the Dutch fishermen . 218 

Negotiations at Brussels . 219 

Northumberland attempts 
in vain to distribute fish- 
ing licences . . 220 

Charles's position in the 
summer of 1637 . . 221 




1637 Ecclesiastical difficulties . 224 
The unlicensed press . 225 
Prynne, Bastwick, and 

Burton . . . 226 

Their trial in the Star 

Chamber . . 228 

Laud's defence of himself. 229 
Execution of the sentence 
on Prynne, Bastwick, 
and Burton . . 231 

The press muzzled . 234 

Laud and the Catholics . 235 
Con as the Papal Agent 

at Court . . . 236 

The Queen's support of 

the Catholics . . 236 

The Catholic converts . 238 
Laud urges strong mea- 
sures against prosely- 
tism . . . 239 

Struggle between Laud 

and the Queen . . 240 
The Queen s triumph . 241 

1638 The Earl of Newcastle 

appointed Governor of 
the Prince . . 243 
English Puritanism Mil- 
ton's Lycidas . . 244 
John Hutchinson . . 246 
1637 john Lilburne . . 248 
His sentence in the Star 

Chamber . . 249 
George Wither . . 250 
1628 Bishop Williams prose- 
cuted in the Star Cham- 
ber . . . 251 
1635 His second prosecution . 252 
The Holy Table, Name 
and Thing . . . 253 

1637 Sentence on Williams . 254 
The Latitudinarians 

Falkland . . 255 

Chillingworth . . 259 

The religion of Protestants 262 

John Hales of Eton . . 265 

1638 His interview with Laud . 267 
Influence of Latitudina- 

rianism not immediate . 268 



1637 Ship-money provided for 

an actual want . . 269 

The expedition to Sallee . 270 
Constitutional objection to 

ship-money . . 271 

Hampden's case in the 

Exchequer Chamber . 272 

1638 The decision of the 

Judges . . . 277 

Extravagant language of 

Finch . . . 279 

Arrears of ship-money col- 
lected . . . 280 
The Forest Courts . 282 
Corporate monopolies . 282 
Brickmakers, coal-shippers, 

and soap-makers . 283 

Salt works . . . 284 

Starch-makers, maltsters, 

and brewers . . 285 

Vintners . 286 

The growth of London . 287 
City petition against . 288 
The physicians' report . 289 
The Londonderry forfei- 
ture . . 290 
The new Corporation . 290 
Hackney coaches the 

letter-post . .291 

Drainage of Hatfield 

Chase . . . 292 

Drainage of the Great 

Level . . . 294 

Riots in the Fens . . 296 
Intervention of the King . 298 
Charles's position in the 

country . . . 299 

The City of London a 
type of the local organi- 
sations . . . 301 
Hopelessness of the King's 
aim ... 303 




1633 Feeling of the Scottish 

nobility towards the 
bishops . . . 304 

The Scottish Church . 305 
1635 Notes of an English tra- 
veller in Scotland . . 306 

1634 Charles resolves to intro- 

duce a new Prayer-Book 307 
The Church Courts . 308 

1635 Preparation of Canons and 

a Prayer-Book . . 309 

1636 Issue of the Canons . 310 
The Prayer-Book sub- 
mitted to a few bishops . 310 

It is dhliked as Popish 
and English . . 311 

1637 Orders given to enforce its 

use . . . 312 

Temper of the nobility 
The tumult at St. Giles' . 
Traqnair's management . 
The King's annoyance 
Henderson's petition 
Charles unable to draw 


The Council does not sup- 
port him 

The second riot at Edin- 

Persistence of Charles 
The third riot at Edin- 

The General Supplication 
Commissioners chosen by 
the leaders of the Oppo- 




3 2I 


3 2 3 




1637 Organised resistance . 325 

1638 Traquair's visit to London. 326 
Charles justifies the 

Praver-Book . . 327 

The Tables . . 328 

The National Covenant . 329 
Scene in the Grey Friars' 

Church . . 333 

Traquair's account to the 

King . . -334 

An Assembly and a Parlia- 
ment demanded . . 334 
General circulation of the 

Covenant . . 335 

Reluctance of Charles to 

give way . 335 

Ill-treatment of those who 
re/use to sign the Cove- 
nant . . . 336 
Practical unity of the Scot- 
tish nation . . . 338 

Charles resolves to nego- 
tiate in order to gain 

Hamilton appointed Com- 

He despairs of success 

He arrives in Scotland and 
gives an account of the 

His reception at Edin- 

C'harles prepares for war . 

Hamilton offers to induce 
the King to consent to 
summon an Assembly 
and a Parliament 

The Divine Right of 

Hamilton's intrigue with 
the Covenanters 

He returns to England . 









1638 The English Council in- 
formed on Scottish affairs 349 

1637 Wentworth's progress in 

the West of Ireland . 351 
His views on the conduct 
of Prynne and Hampden 352 

1638 His opinion of the policy 

to be pursued for the re- 
duction of the Scottish 
Covenanters . . 354 

Early life of Montrose . 356 
Montrose as a Covenanter 358 
The Aberdeen doctors . 358 
Huntly and Argyle . . 359 
Montrose at Aberdeen . 360 
Hampton's second mission 

to Scotland . . 361 

He attempts to divide the 

Covenanters . -361 

His return to England and 

third mission to Scotland 362 
The King's Covenant . 363 
An Assembly and a Parlia- 
ment summoned . 363 
Resistance to the King's 

Covenant . . . 364 

Election of the Assembly . 365 
Charles resolves to resist . 366 
The Bishops cited before 

the Assembly . . 368 

Meeting of the Assembly 

at Glasgow . . 368 

It declares itself duly con- 
stituted . . . 370 
Question whether the Bish- 
ops are subject to cen- 
sure by the Assembly . 37? 

Hamilton dissolves the 

Assembly . . 371 

Argyie's position in Scot- 
land . . . 372 
The Assembly continues 
sitting and abolishes 
Episcopacy . . 373 
War becomes inevitable . 374 
The Congress at Ham- 
burg . 375 
Unsuccessful expedition of 

the Elector Palatine . 376 
Serret negotiations at 

Brussels . . . 377 

Mary de Medicis proposes 

to visit England . . 379 
Her arrival in London . 380 
Bernhard of Weimar's suc- 
cesses on the Upper 
Rhine . . . 381 

1639 Relation of the Scottish 
troubles to Continental 
politics . . . 383 

Hamilton's report on his 

mission . . . 382 

Preparations for levying an 

army . . . 383 

Charles asks that Spanish 
troops may be sent to 
England . . 386 

The Scottish army . . 387 
Alexander Leslie . . 388 

The Scottish manifesto . 389 
Williams before the Star 

Chamber . . . 390 

Publication of the Large 
Declaration . . 391 




FOR seven years, from 1615 to 1622, Sir Oliver St. John ruled 

Ireland. In the main, he walked in the steps of Chichester. 

,6i 5 . In Wexford, Leitrim, Longford, Westmeath, and in 

St. Johns other parts, advantage was taken of some defect in 


of Ireland, the title by which, according to English law, the 
owners of the soil held their property, to convert the old loose 
Fresh Irish tenures into heritable freeholds. In one re- 

piantations. S p ec t these plantations differed for the better from 
the Ulster settlement. Care was taken that three-fourths of 
the land to be divided should come into the hands of natives, 
and that a quarter only should be assigned to British under- 
takers. Yet even if the Government were animated by the 
best intentions and there is every reason to believe that its 
intentions were good the system which it adopted was one 
which must necessarily have entailed considerable hardships 
on the original inhabitants of the land. 

The mode in which the Government acted will be best 

understood by the single example of the Wexford plantation, 

which was commenced under Chichester and carried 


State of to completion by his successor. In the northern 

ord> part of Wexford there were several septs which 

claimed the land as their inheritance by Irish tenure. These 

septs, after some delay, had claimed the benefit of a procla- 



mation issued early in James's reign, and had surrendered 
their lands to the King, in the expectation that they would 
receive them back, to be held by English tenure. Unfortu- 
nately for them, this arrangement was never carried out. 
Someone discovered that the surrender had been made after 
the time prefixed by the proclamation had elapsed ; and before 
any steps were taken to remedy the mistake, Chichester was 
informed that the legal title to the whole district was in leality 
vested in the King. An Irish chief, it was said, had made over 
the land to Richard II. That sovereign had granted it to Lord 
Beaumont, whose heir, Lord Lovel, had been attainted in the 
reign of Henry VII. According to English law, therefore, the 
land forfeited by Level's treason had come back to the Crown. 1 
The suggestion that this new discovery might be used to 
effect a plantation in the county of Wexford was not one which 
Chichester was likely to neglect. He did not, indeed, intend 
to thrust the Irish from their lands. He meant that they should 
live on them as before, safe under English guardianship, and 
prospering in well-being and civilisation. To the Celtic tribes- 
man the chicanery of the lawyers was the too certain portent of 
evil to come. He knew that Dublin swarmed with adventurers 
who had crossed St. George's Channel to repair their broken 
fortunes, and he was filled with a well-grounded suspicion of 
the English-speaking speculator, who was able to take every 
possible advantage of legal forms, and was skilled in all the arts 
by which a neighbour's landmark might be removed without 
open illegality. 2 Even with the best prospect before him the 
Celt was not likely to be very eager to embrace the advantages 

1 Report of the Commissioners, Nov. 12, 1613, Irish Cal. iv. 786. 

2 "Alii aliis vexantur modis. Si cuivis tituli vestigium vel term- 
issimum ex reconditis archiviis, vel publicis scriniis aut tabulariis (de 
quibus nulla mentio per multas annorum centurias farrdo audita fuit) jam 
tandem actuariorum fraude, dolo, vel avaritia in lucem producatur ; si 
qua proscriptionis plagula (quae tamen obducta postmodum cicatrice, et 
medel& adhibita sanari potuit, et, si regesta accurate evolvantur, monu- 
mentis commendata reperiri queant) ilia vel minima vulneris umbra 
detegitur, enodatur, exprimitur ; miserique nepotes premuntur, nudantur, 
spoliantur, et ex cptimis territoriis ablegantur, vel ex dominis, heris, ac 
heredibus, deveniunt servorum servi et novorum mancipia dominorum." 
T. N. (i.e. Bishop Roth) Analccla Sacra, (ed. 1616), p. 188. 


offered by a plantation. The old system of tenure, with all its 
faults, was familiar to him ; and the old life, with its wild out- 
bursts of animal spirits, its joyous disregard of the decencies of 
civilised existence, was hard to shake off. 

In 1611 Chichester's plan for the settlement of Wexford 
was drawn up, and Sir Lawrence Esmond and Sir Edward 
!6n. Fisher were sent into the district to survey the lands 
P Untftion h of to ^ e divided, the extent of which was about 61,000 
Wexford. acres. 1 In making their report the Commissioners 
stated that some 15,000 acres were already held by legal tenure, 
and that 24,000 acres were to be set apart for natives of English 
or Irish descent whose lives in some way conformed to the 
English standard, leaving 22,000 to be bestowed upon strangers, 
who were expected to build fortified houses or castles for the 
maintenance of order in the country. 2 

It soon became evident that the proceedings of the Com- 
missioners were not regarded with approbation by the Irish 
population. Some fifty persons, indeed, who were already large 
landed proprietors, and who therefore had good reason to expect 
that their submission would be reckoned to their advantage when 
the division was made, gave their adhesion to the scheme. The 
remainder of the population, consisting of about 14,500 men, 
women, and children, of whom about 3,500 would be grown-up 
men, was almost without exception opposed to it. 

It would indeed have been strange if it had been otherwise. 
Not only were 22,000 acres, or nearly half the divisible land, 
set apart for strange colonists, but the claims of those 
the Irish who in some way or other possessed freehold rights, 
lon< were treated with contempt. Of this class there were, 
according to native calculation, 667, and even the English ac- 
knowledged the existence of 440. Of the whole of this number 
no more than 57 were to receive lands in freehold, in compen- 
sation for those of which they were to be deprived, whilst of 
these only 21 were to retain the houses which they previously 
occupied. The remainder, on the plea that the amount of land 

1 The amount is given in another paper (Irish Cat. iv. 781) as 66,800, 
probably including other lands not divisible. 
* Report, Irish Cal. iv. 255. 

B a 


which they held was too small to entitle them to consideration, 
were to be evicted from their possessions, though they were to 
be compensated by receiving farms on leases for years or lives 
from the new proprietors. As for the tribal rights of some 3,006 
Irishmen, who had no claim to possess land in freehold at all, 
they were entirely ignored. It is no wonder that the Commis- 
sioners found it expedient to terrify the people into acquies- 
cence by asserting that the King, if he pleased, might seize the 
property of all who had taken part in recent acts of rebellion, 
and that they fortified their assertion by empannelling a jury, 
which at once proceeded to the attainder of 185 persons. After 
this they were able to explain any manifestation of adverse 
feeling by the misinformation which certain lawyers had spread 
amongst the natives for their own selfish ends. 1 

The next step to be taken by the Government was to 

summon a jury at VVexford to find the King's title. The jury, 

Dec. 4. however, proved recalcitrant, and declared against 

A jury re- ^g c rown . The jury was summoned before the 

fuses to find J ' 

for Uie King. Exchequer at Dublin, and it then appeared that, of 
the sixteen of which it was composed, eleven some, if not all 
of them being closely Connected by blood with Sir Lawrence 
Esmond, who was one of the Commissioners and principal 
undertakers in the plantation 2 were ready to do as the Govern- 
ment wished. The other five were sent to prison and, finally, 
censured that is to say, in all probability, fined in the Castle 
Chamber. The eleven were then reinforced by others, some 
at least of whom had an interest in the proposed plantation, and 
by the new jury thus composed a title was found for the Crown. 3 

.For some time, however, little or nothing was done to carry 
tli is finding into effect. Chichester had probablv too much on 
his hands during the session of the Parliament which met in 
1613, and at the time of his recall in 1615 he left the VVexford 
plantation to his successor. 

Scarcely had Chichester left Ireland when Sir Edward 
tisher and others, of whom William Parsons, the speculator 

1 Petition of R. M'Damore and others May(?) 1616, Irish Cal. v. 248. 
1 Report on the Wexford Plantation, Sept. 1611, ibid. iv. 255. 
* Report of Commissioners, Nov. 12, IJ3I.J, ibid. iv. 781, 


in Irish lands, was one, preferred a bill in the Exchequer against 

j6i6 the inhabitants of a portion of the district, claiming 

March. the land as their own in virtue of a patent from 

FishTr and the Crown. Before the native proprietors had time 

to answer, Fisher obtained the service of a body of 

soldiers and ejected them from their homes. 1 

It was probably in consequence of the representations made 
by the injured persons to the new Lord Deputy that a fresh 
Z 6i8. survey of the lands was ordered. When it was finally 
Anewsur- completed, the scandalous arrangement by which 
pieted. nearly half of the divisible land had been reserved 
for the undertakers was frustrated, and provision was made for 
restricting the strangers to the fourth part which had been origi- 
nally intended for them. In this way freeholds were provided 
for eighty more Irishmen, who naturally expressed their warm 
satisfaction with their unexpected good fortune. 2 Nothing, 
however, was done for the remaining population. Many of 
the ejected took refuge in the hills, and led the life of outlaws, 
robbing where they could. From a statement made by St; 
John in 1619, that three hundred of them had been killed or 
hanged in the course of three years, it is evident that they must 
have been exceedingly numerous. 3 Many of them were, no 
doubt, as St. John alleged, younger sons having no means of 
life because they were too proud to work ; but it is highly 
probable that the numbers of the outlaws were swollen by dis- 
satisfied peasants, whose old habits of life were compulsorily 
changed, and who resented, whether they had been small free- 
holders or not, the offer of the position of tenants in exchange 
for their original independence. 

In the eyes of St. John no harm whatever had been done, 

A few of the dispossessed natives made their way to London, 

where some were arrested and transported to Virginia, 

St. John Those who returned to Ireland were joined in Dublin 

ied ' by 200 of their fellows, where they reiterated their 
complaints and where they were at once committed to prison. 

1 Petition of M'Damore and others, May (?) 1616, Irish Cal. v. 248, 

2 Docwra to (?), March 3, 1618, ibid. v. 399. 

* St. John to the English Council, Sept. 29, 1619, ildd. v. 582. 


As far as material prosperity was concerned Wexford was 
no doubt the better for the change. 1 As in Ulster, houses and 
State of castles were built, and for those who were excluded 
Wexford. f rom freehold tenure there were farms to be held at 
long leases, or labourer's work with some certainty of employ- 
ment. On the other side of the account was the irritation 
caused by the denial of rights long held sacred, and the sense 
of insecurity which always follows when the mass of the people 
believes that its Government is actuated by motives which it is 
unable to connect with its own ideas of justice. 

It was impossible for any Lord Deputy to ignore the es- 
trangement between the governors and the governed which 
Difficulties naturally resulted from the attempt of English states- 
flh h dovera- men to lift a whole race to a higher stage of civilisa- 
ment. ft On by a violent severance of the bonds which united 

the living generation to its predecessor. No Lord Deputy, 
however, unless he was capable of throwing off the ideas of his 
time, could be expected to act otherwise than as St. John had 
acted, or to content himself with a more gradual process of 
improvement, based upon a recognition of Irish sentiment at 
least as a foundation upon which to work. 

To the English official the Irish feeling about religion was 
as contemptible as the Irish land-system, though it was far more 
Thereiigious difficult to deal with. It was not only rooted in a 
difficulty. sentiment which he regarded as grossly superstitious, 
but it gave strength to a priesthood the influence of which was 
politically dangerous, and which could not, by any possibility, 
be otherwise than disloyal to a Protestant sovereign bent on 
maintaining the predominance of his own religion. It is true 
that a ruler in possession of overwhelming military force would 
have found his wisest course in tolerating what he could not 
alter, and in endeavouring, by the maintenance of order and 
by the gradual diffusion of the blessings of an enlightened 
government, to rally round him the gratitude of those who 
would owe to him much of their material prosperity, and whose 
spiritual interests were left to their own care. Unhappily, not 

1 St. John and the Council to the English Council, Dec. 6, 1620, 
Irish Cat, v. 710. 


only was toleration, in those days, regarded as a bad thing in 
itself, but the Irish Government had not the command of that 
force which alone could make it feel safe enough to practise it. 
The Irish army was a mere skeleton of a military force, 1 and 
there were no regiments of trained soldiers to be had at short 
notice from England. A combination of the Irish tribes even 
from a few neighbourhoods would task all the resources of the 
Deputy, and it was certain that no organisation was so capable 
of bringing about a combination of the natives as that of the 
priesthood of the Church of Rome. The difficulty in the 
way of the Government was too political to justify any Lord 
Deputy in refusing to confront it : at the same time, it was 
too religious to give him any chance of encountering it with 

Though it was impossible to enforce the payment of a 
shilling fine for each Sunday's non-attendance at church upon 
The fine for a whole population, great annoyance was caused 
an" e a at end ^ t ^ ie ar bJ trai T selection of individuals to bear the 
church. penalty without any corresponding advantage to the 
State. It seemed more easy to deal with the case of a single 
The port- locality. Ever since the suppression of the rebellion 
towns. m t h e p Ort towns in the first year of James's reign, 

they had taken every opportunity of showing their hostility 
to the Government. Of these places VVaterford had shown 

1612. itself the hardest to deal with. It persistently 
Jhreatlned elected magistrates who refused to take the oath of 
for electing supremacy. In 1612 James ordered Chichester to . .... . -,-1 / j 

magistrates, suppress its municipal liberties, if the citizens refused 
to abandon the course which they had adopted. 2 The citizens, 

1613. however, stood firm, and in the autumn of 1613 
Waterfprd t h e recusa nt magistrates were still in office. 3 The 

maintains its 

position. position which Waterford had taken up was the more 
obnoxious to the Government, as it was enabled by its charter 

1 On Feb. 4, 1622, the whole force consisted of 1,712 men. Irish Col. 
v. 816. 

- The King to Chichester, Sept. 30, 1612, ibia. iv. 529. 

3 Morysou to Chichester and the Commissioners, Oct. 13. 1613, ibid 
iv. 763. 


to refuse admission to the King's judges, and thereby to dis- 
pense with the holding of assizes at which penalties might be 
inflicted for nonconformity in religion. 1 

Scarcely had St. John assumed the reins of government 

when the case of Waterford became ripe for action. A rule 

1615. was obtained in the Irish Chancery for the seizure of 

The liberties j ts charter unless the corporation would voluntarily 

of Waterlord * 

seized. surrender it. 2 Legal difficulties, however, seem to 
have stood in the way, and it was not till 1617 that a verdict 

1617. of a jury of the county of Waterford found the 
verdict of a liberties of the city to be forfeited. 3 Upon this the 
county jury, corporation promised to surrender its charter, but 
neglected to fulfil its engagement. Accordingly, in the spring 

i6 8 of 1618, the Court of Chancery proceeded to a final 
The charter judgment, declaring the forfeiture of the municipal 

forfeited. ,., . /- .1 . 

liberties of the city. 4 

It was easier to declare the charter to be forfeited than 
to know how to supply its place. The fixed idea of English 
1619. politicians was that if Irishmen would not come up 
chan'ts h to 1 be" to ^ expectations of their rulers, Englishmen must 
introduced. De brought over to supply their places. Early in 
1619, therefore, the English Privy Council proposed that, as 
there was no one in Waterford fit to occupy a place in a new 
Protestant corporation, English merchants should be induced 
to settle in the city, and to undertake its government. 5 In the 
following August St. John recommended that at least thirty 
should be induced to emigrate. They were to bring their 
families with them, and at least 5007. apiece. What was of 
even greater importance, they must be of good character and 
fit to exercise the office of a magistrate. They would have no 
difficulty in finding accommodation at Waterford, as there was 
plenty of waste ground to build on, including the sites of two 

1 Commissioners' Report, Nov. 12, 1613, Irish Cal. iv. 781. 

1 Da vies to Lake, Dec. 2O, 1615, ibid. v. 195. 

8 St. John to Winwood, Oct. II, 1617, ibid. v. 373. 

4 Docwra to (?), March 3, 1618, ibid. v. 399. 

* St. John to the English Council, Feb. 26, 1619, ibid. v. 526. 


ruined abbeys. If the owners chose to ask too- high a pi ice, 
the Irish Government would interpose and reduce them to 

1620. reason. 1 The scheme which seemed so hopeful to 
Failure oi J ames an d St. John was wrecked on an unexpected 
the plan. obstacle. The English Privy Council wrote to the 
mayor and aldermen of Bristol, inviting them to select fitting 
men for the new settlement. The traders of Bristol, however, 
were not tempted by the offer of a residence in the midst of 
a hostile population. Not one could be induced to leave his 
home for such a purpose, and the government of Water- 
ford had, therefore, for the present to be carried on from 
Dublin. 2 

St. John's career in Ireland was drawing to a close. Early 
in 1621 he was Created Viscount Grandison in the Irish peerage. 

i6ai According to the ideas prevalent in England, his 
St. John career had not been unsuccessful. He had main- 
visc'cfunt tained the King's authority, and had advanced 
Grandison. pi an j a ti ons but complaints were always rife in Ire- 
land, and it was easy to imagine at Whitehall that a change 
of government was needed rather than a change of system. 

1622. Before the end of the year it was resolved that 
May 4 . Grandison should be recalled, and on May 4, 1622, 

Grandison ' ^' 

recalled. he delivered up the sword to the Lords Justices who 
were to exercise authority till the arrival of his successor. 

That successor, Henry Gary, Viscount Falkland, in the 
Scottish peerage, owed his appointment to the favour of Buck- 
ingham. A man, naturally kindly and desirous of 

Falkland .. ,-,.. i j i ,-i i 

Lord fulfilling his duties, he was alike wanting in the 

eputy. clear-sightedness which detects the root of an evil, 
and in the firmness which is needed to eradicate it. His letters 
are full of querulous complaints of men and things, and of 
expositions of the intractable nature of the population com- 
mitted to his charge, mingled with very scanty suggestions of 
remedies to be adopted. 

1 St. John and the Council to the English Council, Aug. 4, 1619, Irish 
Col. v. 564. 

2 Mayor and Aldermen of Bristol to the English Council, Jan. 31, 
1620, ibid. v. 615. 


When Falkland arrived in Dublin in September, 1622, he 

^ t 6 came with the full resolution of putting an end to the 

Falkland's activity of the Catholic clergy. Usher urged him to 

severity in a sermon on the text, " He beareth not 

. the sword in vain," and Falkland imagined it to be 

The Catholic . . 

clergy to be possible to accomplish that which so many stronger 

men than himself had failed to do. In a despatch 

to the English Privy Council he drew a dismal picture of the 

1623. state of Ireland. Priests swarmed in every part of 

Prociama' tne country, and excited the people by telling them 

!n n the* nish " t ^ iat tnere would soon be a toleration in religion. ] On 

priests. January 21, 1623, the Lord Deputy issued a pro- 

clamation ordering the banishment of the priests. 2 

Under no circumstances was such a proclamation likely to 
be obeyed in Ireland, and least of all at a time when the con- 
clusion of the marriage treaty with Spain was the main object 
of the English Government. The attitude of the Catholics 
became more provoking than ever when it was known that the 
Prince had gone to Madrid to woo in person a Catholic bride. 
Wild As the summer wore on the wildest rumours were in 

rumours. circulation. Tyrone, it was said, would soon return. 
At the fair at Kells, one Henry Dowdall announced publicly 
that the Prince was actually married in Spain, and that Buck- 
ingham had carried a cross before him at the ceremony. At 
Cavan two or three thousand Irishmen gathered to hear mass, 
and threatened to do the like in the parish church. 3 In Decem- 
ber the nobility of the Pale thought the time was come when 
their complaints might be made with effect, and 
deputation proposed, under the pretext of offering their congra- 

tulations to the Prince on his return from Spain, to 
send agents to England to state their case. 4 By this time, 
however, the breach with Spain was already in contempla- 

1 Falkland and the Council to the English Council, Oct. I, 1622, 
Irish Cal. v. 954. 

* Proclamation, Jan. 21, 1623, ibid. v. 980. 

1 Falkland to Calvert, Oct. 20, ihid. v. 1076. 

Falkland to Conway, Dec. 14, ibid. v. 


tion, and on January 21 Falkland was able to issue a second 

time his proclamation for the banishment of the 

1624. * 

Banishment priests. l James, however, was for some time hesi- 

of the priests . . . 

gain tatmg whether to throw himself into opposition to 

Spain or not, and on February 17 the English Privy 

Council checked the ardour of Falkland, directing him to 

Feb content himself with the suppression of tumultuous 

Falkland ' assemblies, of the erection of religious houses, and 

held back. ^ meetings which were likely to be dangerous to 

the State. 2 

Before long, however, the breach with Spain actually took 
place, and Falkland's hands were freed. He was, however, in 
no position to take violent action against the priests, 
rumours in A fresh crop of rumours sprang up, of warlike pre- 
parations in Spain to be directed to the relief of 
Ireland, and in the midst of the excitement he was compelled 
to stand on the defensive. 

The diminutive army on which alone Falkland could rely 
was in evil plight. When the last Lord Deputy left Ireland it 
State of the had been unpaid for two years and a half. "For my 
army. part," Grandison had written to the English Council 

just before his departure from Dublin, "I pray you to receive 
the intercession I make for them now in the perclose of my 
government as the last words of a dying man that have long 
beheld this lamentable spectacle with much compassion ; and if 
I shall be made so unhappy to leave this government with an 
arrear of half the time I have continued in it, I know I shall 
be followed with a thousand curses, and leave behind me an 
opinion that my unworthiness or want of credit has been the 
cause of leaving the army in worse estate than ever any of my 
predecessors before me have done." 3 Under Falkland the 
condition of the soldiers was no better. The Irish revenue 
was insufficient to pay the expenses of governing the country, 
and there were too many calls on the English exchequer to 
enable the richer country to supply the deficiency. It was, 

1 Proclamation, Jan. 21, 1624, Irish Cal. v. 1139. 

2 The English Council to Falkland, Feb. 17, 1624, ibid. v. 1151. 
* Grandson to the English Council, April 8, 1622, ibid. v. 837. 


therefore, no slight relief to Falkland when the English Parlia- 
ment of 1624 not only sent fresh reinforcements to 
granted by Ireland, but accompanied them with six months' 
" 8 an ' pay drawn from the subsidies which it had recently 
granted. The relief, however, was but temporary. In the follow- 

1625. ing year Falkland complained that the pay of the men 
d^su^Tof had ^ a ^ en f ur months in arrear. l The natural con- 
the soldiers, sequences ensued. The appointed guardians of the 
peace became its worst violators. The peaceable inhabitants 

1626. were robbed, in order that the soldiers might have 
T uemJisr wherewith to live. The discipline of the army was 
erd. ruined, whilst the discontent of Irishmen of all classes 
was grievously aggravated. 2 

In the autumn of 1626, when it seemed likely that a war 
with France would be added to a war with Spain, the defence- 
Thearmy to ^ ess state f Ireland could no longer be left unnoticed 
be increased, by the English Government One of the Lords of 
the Pale, the Earl of Westmeath, had been for some time in 
London, where he obtained a hearing for the 'grievances of his 
countrymen. With the advice of the English Privy Council, 
Charles resolved to increase the army in Ireland. He would 
have a standing force of 5,000 foot and 500 horse. The sup- 
port of such an army must not, as hitherto, be left to chance. 
As it was hopeless to expect to draw the money which was 
needed for the pay of the soldiers from the English exchequer, 
some method of imposing the burden upon Ireland must be 

If Irishmen were to be induced to find the money, it would 
be necessarv to pay some attention to their com- 

I'he charter . . , . . , 

ofWaterford plaints. As a preliminary measure the Charter of 
red " Waterford was restored, and a recusant mayor in- 
stalled in office. 3 

1 Falkland and the Council to the English Council, Nov. 28, 1625. 

2 Falkland and the Council to the King, March 4, 1626, Add. MSS. 
3827, fol. 56, 74. 

* Falkland to Conway, Sept. n, 1626. On Nov. 3, the new Mayor 
and Sheriffs sent Conway a present of Irish whiskey, as a token of their 
gratitude. S. P. Ireland. 

1626 ;, THE GRACES. 13 

On September 22 Falkland was directed to convene an 
assembly of the nobility, and to invite them to engage for the 
payment of a regular contribution by each county 
The nobility for the maintenance of the army. In order to in- 
to corT ked fluence the decision of this assembly, a statement of 
'nbute. the concessions which Charles was ready to make 
was to be laid before it. 

These concessions, in the form which they ultimately as- 
sumed, are known in history as the Graces. Those which 
First draft of touched the burning questions of the Church and 
the Graces, j^g j an( j possessed a special importance. It was 
not likely that anything would be done for that considerable 
portion of the population which had suffered from the suppres- 
sion, without compensation, of the Irish tenures. The grievances 
which were to be redressed were those of the middle and upper 
classes. It was upon them that the fitful exaction of the shilling 
fine almost exclusively weighed. It was from them, too, that 
the complaints against religious disabilities mainly proceeded. 
No man, they had often urged, could take office or even prac- 
tise in the law courts without taking the oath of supremacy. In 
the reign of James a Court of Wards had been established in 
Ireland, which claimed the right of providing that the heirs 
which fell under its control should be educated in the Protestant 
religion, and which tendered the oath of supremacy to the heir 
arriving at full age before it permitted him to enter upon his 

For most of these grievances provision was made by the 
Graces. Charles could not persuade himself to abandon his 
hold upon heirs under age, but he consented to substitute for 
the old oath of supremacy a new oath of allegiance which no 
loyal Catholic would feel any difficulty in taking, and to re- 
nounce, except in special cases, the shilling fine for non-attend- 
ance at church. 

On the land question the Graces were still more liberal. 
By consenting to the acceptance of sixty years' pos- 

Articles , , ' 

affecting the session as a bar to all claims of the Crown based 

upon irregularities of title, Charles put an end to 

the prevailing fear of fresh plantations, a boon which was more 


especially welcome in Connaught. The landowners there had 
received a recognition of their titles from Elizabeth and James, 1 
but the officials entrusted with the duty of enrolling the patents 
by which this recognition acquired legal force had neglected 
their work. Charles now declared that no advantage should 
be taken of the omission. Finally, he promised to call a Par- 
liament in Ireland to take into consideration the grievances of 
his subjects. 2 

On November 15 an assembly of the Irish nobility was held 

at Dublin. Its consent was asked to the bargain proposed by 

the King, but its members professed themselves in- 

Nov. 13. 

Irish nobility competent to make a money grant without consulting 
consulted. ^gjj. neighbours, and the meeting was therefore 
prorogued until April, when the bishops and peers of which it 
was composed might be reinforced by a body of commissioners 
selected by some kind of irregular election in the counties. 3 
During the interval, Falkland's mind assumed every hue of 

1 In view of Wentworth's subsequent proceedings in Connaught, the 
following extract from a letter from London is worth reading, as showing 
that the landowners of that province had every reason to understand the 
question as settled in their favour. " My Lord Chifchester] hath writ to 
the Duke concerning the business of the Connaught surrenders, and till he 
heareth from him he forbeareth to give answer to your letters. The 22nd 
of the last month, amongst other Irish business, the Commissioners attending 
the Lords of the Council, the Connaught surrenders were spoken of, and how 
they were in fear of a plantation. The Lords so much declared themselves 
against a plantation that, though they did not absolutely orHer it at the 
Board, yet they gave commandment to Mr. Meautys that there waited, to 
keep a remembrance that they were of opinion and held it fit that his 
Majesty would be pleased to signify his pleasure to the Deputy, that in 
case they wanted a due form, either in surrendering, passing, or enrolling 
their patents in due time, that some should be sent hither out of that 
province authorised, who should bring one of their patents with him, if all 
keep but one form, which shall be viewed by the King's learned counsel, 
from whom they should receive a form of passing all the rest ; and thai 
there should be one easy and certain rate set down what every one should 
pay for passing them anew." J. W. to Falkland, Dec. 4, 1624, Add. 
MSS. 3827, fol. 45. 

2 Original draft of the Graces. Sept. 22, 1626, S. P. Ireland. 
' Diary of the Assembly, ibid. 


querulous despair. Everyone in Ireland was taking his own 
Falkland in course without regard for the authority of the Lord 
despair. Deputy. The example of Waterford had encouraged 
the other towns of the South to elect recusant mayors. The 
soldiers were in a state of mutiny for want of money. The 
counties refused to keep the troops any longer. The English 
settlers were as recalcitrant as the men of Irish birth. In 
Fermanagh the new settlers declared that, rather than continue 
to keep the 50 soldiers who had been cessed upon them, they 
would throw up their estates and leave the country. "If," 
wrote the Lord Deputy, " any violence should break out there 
(and it is not unlikely) and amongst the English, as they seem 
to menace, what could contain the Irish counties ? " 
From Antrim came the same tale of resistance. The 
plantation there, according to the report of the principal gentle- 
men of the county, was only in its infancy. Their tenants were 
for the most part strangers of British birth, who would rather 
leave their lands than undergo such heavy burdens. 1 In various 
parts of the country wood-kerne were robbing and committing 
outrages in scattered bands. The Lord Deputy was unable to 
disperse them because he had no money with which to pay the 
officer whom he had selected to command the troops destined 
for the service against them. 2 Falkland, no doubt, had fallen 
on evil times. It was not he who had made Ireland what it was. 
Yet it was unfortunate that in such a crisis a man so utterly 
without resource should have been at the head of the Irish 

The day appointed for the meeting of the Assembly in its 

new shape was April 19. Before the opening of the proceedings 

April 19. the Lord Deputy attended Christ Church in state. 

Bishop The serm on was preached by Downham, the Bishop 

Uownham s 

sermon. o f Derry. He chose for his text the words out of 
the song of Zacharias : " That we, being delivered out of the 

1 Falkland to the English Council, Oct. 15, Nov. 10, 1626. The in- 
habitants of Fermanagh to Falkland, Nov. (?), 1626. The Earl of Antrim 
and the Justices of the Peace of Antrim to Falkland, Feb. 2, 1627, S. P. 
Ire 'and. 

* Falkland to the English Council, Feb. 17, 1627, ibid. 


hands of our enemies, might serve Him without fear." It soon 
appeared who they were whom the bishop regarded as his 
enemies. He read out a declaration against toleration to which 
all the bishops had recently set their hands. To grant a tolera- 
tion was to be accessory to superstition and idolatry, and to 
the perdition of the seduced people. It was especially impious 
to set religion to sale. When he had finished reading, Down- 
ham cried out, in a loud voice. " Let all the people say Amen ! " 
From the whole of the assemblage the Amens rose loudly. 
When the sermon was over, Falkland told the Bishop that his 
words must be sent to the King. Downham, however, stood 
his ground, and declared that he was not ashamed of anything 
he had said. 1 

The declaration of the bishops was certain to dispose an 

Assembly, in which the Catholics were largely represented, to 

place itself in opposition to the wishes of the Govern- 

1 he rein- r l l 

forced AS- mcnL The Assembly, in fact, at once replied by a 

sembly re- ., . . , . _ ,, 

fuses a con- refusal to contribute to the army, and, though Falk- 
lon ' land kept it together for some days, he found it im- 
possible to move it from the position which it had taken up. 
The reason openly given for this refusal was the poverty of the 
country ; but Falkland gathered from words which had been 
let fall by some of the Lords of the Pale, that the real object 
of their desires was to substitute a militia commanded by them- 
.Mayz. selves for a standing army. On May 2 he dismissed 
con* t?hed ity l ^ e re P resentat i ve members of the Assembly, retaining 
separately, the nobles for a. few days longer in the vain hope 
that they would be more submissive. Their reply was that they 
had given all that they could, and that they would indict the 
sheriffs, on a charge of treason, if they levied cess for the pay- 
ment of the soldiers. In future, it was said, householders 
will ' shut up their doors,' and the soldiers may force them 
and take what they list, but give to them with their 'own 
goodwill they will not.' Under these circumstances the at- 
tempt to conciliate the nobility was necessarily abandoned. 
Falkland wrote, as he had often written before, that unless 

1 Judgment of the Arclibiahops and Bishops, S. P. Ireland. 


money were sent from England, it would be impossible to 
govern Ireland. 1 

On May T 2 a letter arrived from the English Privy Council 

showing Falkland a way out of the difficulty. He was to inform 

May 12. the Irish that their opinion was not asked on the 

The Irish question whether the new army was to be maintained, 

ordered to > ' 

pay- or whether the requisite sum was to be levied in Ire- 

land. All that was required of them was advice as to the most 
convenient way of levying the money. Upon this a few of the 

Lords of the Pale were summoned before the Council, 
levied for a Under stress they either agreed to the levy of a cess, 

or at least did not openly reject it ; whilst, on the 
other hand, permission was given for the election by the cities 

and counties of agents to represent to Charles the 

grievances felt in Ireland. Even with this prospect 
of obtaining further concessions the Lords of the Pale refused 
to take any part in the assessment of the cess. 2 

It may be that it was easier to raise an opposition to Falk- 
land at Dublin than to contend with the King himself and the 
j628. Privy Council at Whitehall. At all events, when the 
Contribution a g ents appeared in London in the spring of 1628 
agreed to. they gave complete satisfaction to the Government. 
They bound Ireland, as far as they were able to bind her, to 
provide 4,oooZ. a year for three years, a sum which would be 
sufficient to support the army. The payment was to commence 
at once, and was to be deducted from the subsidies which 
might be granted in the next Parliament. 

In return Ireland received the Graces somewhat amplified, 

1 Diary of the Assembly. Falkland and Council to the English 
Council, April 20, May 3, 9, 1627, >S. P. Ireland. The following extract 
from a speech made by Usher on April 30 is worth the consideration of 
those who hold that the Irish were not wronged by the plantations. 
"We," said the Archbishop, " have brought new planters into the land, but 
have left the old inhabitants to shift for themselves, who, being strong of 
body, and daily increasing in number, and seeing themselves deprived of 
their ancient means of maintenance, which they and their ancestors have 
formerly enjoyed, will undoubtedly be ready, when any occasion is offered, 
to disturb our quiet." 

Diary of the Assembly, 6". .P. Ireland. 


but modified by the omission of the engagement to abstain 
from enforcing the weekly fine for non-attendance at 
church. The new oath of allegiance, the abandon- 
ment of the right to enforce the King's title to land which had 
been in private hands for more than sixty years, were both 
conceded, and a special promise was given that the landowners 
of Connaught should receive in the next Parliament a con- 
firmation of their estates, ' to the end the same may never 
hereafter be brought into any further question by us, our heirs, 
and successors.' l 

November 3 was fixed as the day on which the promised 
Parliament was to meet, and the writs for the elections were 
actually issued by Falkland. 2 The English Council, 
Parliament however, reminded him that Poyning's law imposed 
16 ' upon them the task of approving of all Bills to be 
submitted to the Houses in Dublin, and that he had not left 
them time to give the necessary attention to the 
it is counter- business. Though some at least of the elections had 
already taken place, 3 Falkland was obliged to an- 
nounce that he had acted beyond his powers, and to withdraw 
the writs which he had ijsued. 4 

There is no reason to suppose that anything more than a 
brief delay was intended. 5 In the spring of 1629, however, the 

1 The King to Falkland with instructions enclosed, May 24, 1628, 
S. P. Ireland. 

4 Falkland to the King, July 29, ibid. 

s At Dublin, the election took place on Oct. 7. The Protestant can- 
didates had about I,ooo votes, the Catholic about 1,400, ' most very poor 
men, as porters, &c.' Sir J. Ware's Diary, Croivcombe Court MSS. 

1 Falkland and the Council to the F.nglish Council, Sept. 8, S. P. Ireland. 

* Most writers charge the King with deliberately breaking his promise 
to summon a Parliament. The correspondence in the State Papers war- 
rants a different conclusion. On Aug. 15 the English Council wrote to 
Conway that the time allowed them was too short to correspond with the 
Deputv on difficulties which might arise in the preparation of the Bills 
They therefore did not think Parliament could meet in November. ' If 
his Majesty," they went on to say, "do continue his purpose to have it 
called any time the next winter, we hold it very necessary that we should 
receive speedy direction to appoint a Committee of some intelligent men 
of the courses of that kingdom to consider of all such things as will be 


English Council was anxiously smoothing away difficulties 
before the approaching session at Westminster, and it is no 
matter of surprise that, when that session came to an untimely 
end, Charles should have been in no mood to encounter ano- 
ther Parliament at Dublin. The very name of a Parliament 
must have brought before his eyes a vision of riot and confu- 
sion, of false charges shouted out against his faithful ministers, 
and of a Speaker held down by violence in the chair. Unfor- 
tunate as the delay may have been, it is surely unnecessary to 
seek further for the motives of those who caused it. 

Not that causes were wanting to make Charles hesitate to 
follow on the path on which he had entered. The Catholic 
March. priests construed the concessions already made as 
whh C the ies an acknowledgment of weakness. In Monaghan 
Catholics. they invaded the churches, drove away the Protestant 
incumbents, and celebrated mass at the re-established altars. 

necessary to be resolved of for the preparation of a Parliament then, and 
they to make report unto us of their conclusions ; . . . and we hold it 
further requisite that his Majesty would be pleased to direct us to write to 
the Deputy and Council there concerning his gracious pleasure of holding 
the Parliament, for that we doubt that they in that kingdom begin to grow 
into some diffidence of the continuance of his Majesty's intention in that 
behalf, having heard nothing of it since the going over of the agents." On 
the 2ist, Conway answered that the King was satisfied with their statement, 
and ordered them to write to the Deputy and Council in Ireland, 'to assure 
them of his Majesty's constant resolution to have a Parliament called and 
holden there as soon as the needful forms and preparations for that assembly 
will admit, which your Lordships may intimate are already in hand and 
shall be prosecuted with all fitting expedition.' On the 25th the Council 
wrote accordingly, and their letter was received by Falkland on Sept. 5. 
The next day the Deputy, with the advice of his Council, resolved that the 
elections should nevertheless proceed, proposing to adjourn Parliament 
when it met. Meanwhile, on Sept. 9, a committee o f lawyers in London 
certified the English Council that an Irish Parliament could not even be 
summoned till the Bills to be laid before it had been approved under the 
Great Seal of England. This, I suppose, settled the matter, and the sum- 
mons must have been rescinded on the intimation of this opinion. There 
is nothing here showing any underhand desire of the King to posipone the 
meeting of Parliament. Why the postponement lasted so long is merely a 
matter of conjecture, and the explanation given al ove seems to be suffi- 
ciently reasonable to make it unnecessary to resort to the idea of deceit. 

C 2 


In Dublin buildings were erected as a monastery for the friars, 
and there too mass was attended openly by large crowds. 

Nor was the internal harmony of the Irish Government 
itself such as to fit it for the delicate task of meeting Parlia- 
ment. The Lord Deputy, supported by the majority 

Dissensions . . _, ., , . ,. c , 

in the Irish of the Council, was engaged in bitter strife with a 
Council. minority, amongst the members of which the Lord 
Chancellor, Lord Loftus of Ely, and Sir Francis Annesley, 
afterwards notorious as Lord Mountnorris, were the two most 
conspicuous. It was believed that this minority to some ex- 
tent sympathised with the Irish nobility and gentry in their 
complaints against the Government, and after the dissolution 
l627> of the Assembly, which met at Dublin in 1627, de- 
Charges finite charges were brought against the Chancellor, 
agamst the probably at Falkland's instigation, in which he was 
accused not only of malversation in his office, but of 
giving encouragement to the malcontents to refuse supplies 
to the King. In the summer of 1628 the case against him was 
heard in London. His answers to some of the charges were 
considered to be sufficient, and he was allowed to return to 
Dublin in the full exercise of the authority of his office, pend- 
ing further inquiry into the remainder. The result was regarded 
as a triumph by Loftus, who followed it up by asking leave 
to prosecute in the Star Chamber the persons who had brought 
unfounded accusations against him. 1 

.If Falkland was to hold his own at Dublin, it behoved him 
to catch the eye of his sovereign by some act of vigour, and 
there could be little doubt that the blow, if a blow there was to 
be, would fall on the native Irish. From the beginning of his 
administration, Falkland had been anxious not merely to carry 
out the plantations which had been handed down to him by 
his predecessor, but to set on foot new ones of his own. As 
The Byrnes early as in 1623 he had cast his eye upon a district 
of.Wickiow. amon g S t the Wicklovv mountains, inhabited by the 
sept of the Byrnes. In bypast time this sept had been noted 

1 Charges against the Lord Chancellor, with his answers, June 2. 
The Lord Chancellor to Conway, Aug. 11, 1628, S. P. Ireland. Pro- 
ceedings of the Council, July 7, ibid. 


for its turbulence. In the last years of Elizabeth, when all 
England was in confusion, Phelim Byrne, who was now the chief 
of the sept, with others of his relatives and dependents, had 
been guilty of an act of unusual atrocity. Having tracked Sir 
Piers Fitzgerald to a house in which he had taken refuge with 
his wife and daughter, they had set fire to the thatch and had 
burnt the whole party alive. 1 Since the accession of James, 
however, Phelim had settled down to a regular life, and had 
endeavoured to gain credit in Dublin for keeping some kind 
of order amongst his wild neighbours. 

A district such as that of the Byrnes was certain to attract 

the notice of Falkland, who had placed himself in the hands 

of men such as Sir William Parsons, the Master of 

Falkland \ 

wishes to the new Court of Wards, who combined a theoreti- 

make a plan- ,.,... . . ... , 

ration in cal belief in the virtues of the plantation system 
with a shrewd regard for his own interest. In 
1623, therefore, Falkland proposed to set up a plantation in 
Wicklow. Much to his surprise, he found that his scheme 
found no countenance in England. The Commissioners for 
Irish Causes, who had been appointed to give advice to the 
English Privy Council, reported that, however excellent the 
plantation system was, it had been much abused by persons 
who had got large estates into their possession without fulfil- 
ling the obligations under which they had come. They there- 
fore recommended that the Lord Deputy should content him- 
self with breaking up the dependency of the people on their 
chiefs, and should dispose of the lands amongst the natives 
themselves at profitable rents. 2 

Two years later, Falkland returned to the charge. He now 
announced that he had discovered a dangerous conspiracy, in 
which the Byrnes were concerned, together with the Butlers, 

1 Deposition of W. Eustace. Gilbert's Hist, of the Irish Confederation, 
ii. 205. 

- Falkland to the English Council, May 3. The Commissioners for 
Irish affairs to the English Council, July, 1623, Irish Cal. v. 1019, 1058. 
The Commissioners were not, as Mr. Prendergast supposes (Pr--f. to Irish 
Cal. v.), 'a Committee of the Privy Council,' but a consultative body 
outside it. 


the Cavenaghs, and the Tooles. Two of Phelim's sons were 

accused of participation in it. The Lord Deputy 

March 25. declared that the only way of dealing with such men 

Falkland . , , j , 

discovers a was to seize their lands and establish a plantation 
upon them. 1 

Once more the Commissioners for Irish Affairs stood be- 
tween the impatient Lord Deputy and his prey. They seem 
Falkland is to nave entirely disbelieved the charges which Falk- 
"o 'sdl'e'their land hacl hmted at > ancl advised ' as the best course 
lands - to reduce that barbarous country to some good 

settlement,' that Phelim should receive a grant of all the lands 
claimed by him, on condition of making a grant to his six 
younger sons of 200 acres apiece, to be held in freehold. He 
himself, according to the report, had been ' loyal and of good 
desert to the state,' and his sons were 'proper men and civilly 
bred.' The time was not seasonable for a new plantation. 2 

For a long time Falkland kept silence. He and his sub- 
ordinates were, however, much interested in making out a case 
against the Byrnes. On August 27, 1628, just after the Lord 
Chancellor had returned from England with the honours of 
victory, the Lord Deputy wrote a triumphant letter to the King, 

1628. announcing that he had now completed his discovery 
Falkland 7 ' f tne great conspiracy of which he had for three 
thrtheh e as y ears been upon the track. Phelim Byrne and his six 
completed sons 3 had been indicted at the Wicklow assizes, and a 

his dis- 
covery, true bill had been found against them. The father and 

five of the sons were lodged in Dublin Castle, and would be tried 
the next term. The other son, Hugh, was in London, solicit- 
ing favour for his father and his brothers. He was as guilty 
as the rest, and should either be sent to Dublin or imprisoned 
in England. Let the King grant no pardon to any of the family 
before the trial, or give away their estates till the Deputy and 
the Irish Council had been consulted. " For," added Falkland 

1 Falkland to Conway, March 25, 1625, Irish Ca'. v. 1398. 

8 Report of the Commissioners for Irish Affairs. S, l\ Ireland. Un- 
dated, Charles I. 

3 The report of the Commissioners last mentioned speaks of six younger 
sans. Probably one had died since. 


" it is without all peradventure that the well settlement of these 
escheats do most importantly concern the settlement of the 
future peace and tranquillity of this kingdom in security and 
perpetuity with the assured good and advantage of the 
Crown." l 

To Falkland's intense astonishment, Charles replied that he 
had received a petition from the Byrnes complaining of ill-treat- 
Oct- 3- rnent, and that he had therefore directed the forma- 
af?nwigf- e ti n f a committee of the Irish Privy Council to 
tion. investigate the matter with impartiality. 2 When the 

names of the committee were read, those of Falkland's greatest 
enemies the Lord Chancellor, Sir Francis Annesley, and Sir 
Arthur Savage appeared amongst them. 

By his answer, the Lord Deputy showed that he regarded 
the King's orders not only as the result of an unworthy intrigue, 
but as directed entirely against himself. He objected, he said, to a 
petition in which his Majesty's deputy was to be ' arraigned in ' 
his 'proceedings in the discovery and prosecution of traitors by 
persons' subordinate to him in his 'government, to the great 
blemish of his 'honour and integrity; whilst the persons accused, 
and by twelve men of the best consequence in their country- 
found guilty, shall be so protected from trial, and against a lawful 
verdict, be supposed and suggested still innocent.' On this ground 
Falkland begged that the trials might proceed, and execution be 
deferred till the King had been fully acquainted with the circum- 
stances of the case. " If in the process," he ended by saying, 
" it shall appear that my actions and aims in this service have 
not been in all circumstances becoming the person I am in the 
office I exercise, as full of candidness, moderation, clemency, 
uprightness, and integrity as of circumspection, vigilancy, 
industry, cost and hazard, my head on the block shall be the 
price of my folly and iniquity ; so, on the contrary part, if I be 
found upright, that my honour be repaired and an inquisition 
made what bad brokers of this or that land have been em- 
ployed, and what means they have used to blind authority and 

1 Falklnnd to the King, Aug. 27, 1628, S. P. Ireland. 

2 The King to Falkland, Oct. 3, 1628, ibid. 


purchase corrupt friendship, to procure favour for so gross and 
capital offenders, and to pervert justice ; for I that know what 
attempts have been made upon myself can easily divine what 
essays may have been made and ways sought elsewhere." l 

Whatever might be the truth about the Byrnes Falkland 
stands self-condemned. No thought of the possibility of a 
miscarriage of justice occurred to him ; no recollection that, if 
some members of the committee were his enemies, others were 
not, and that one of them at least, Archbishop Usher, might 
be trusted to see that the investigation ordered should be honest 
and impartial. Falkland's mind was so filled with the sense of 
his own offended dignity, that no room was left in it for any 
other consideration. 

The Commissioners set to work amidst unexampled diffi- 
culties. Not only did the Lord Deputy refuse to render any 
November assistanc e, but he threw every possible obstacle in 
Difficulties their way. As the greater number of available wit- 
oftheconv nesses were in close prison in the Castle, they could 
not be brought up for examination without Falkland's 
permission. That permission he refused to give, and he turned 
an equally deaf ear to the requests of Byrne and his sons to be 
informed of the precise nature of the crime of which they were 
charged. 2 It was enough that he had himself made up his mind 
that they were guilty. 

The Commissioners had therefore recourse to 

Jan. 20. such evidence as they could derive from persons still 
th^intes'tl^ at liberty, and this they forwarded to England with- 
out comment of their own. 3 

The tale which is to be unravelled from the statements 
made before the Commissioners is no doubt one which might 
be to some extent modified, if we could hear the other side. 
Yet it is hardly possible that any modification could make 
it otherwise than revolting. The witnesses upon whose testi- 

1 Falkland to the King, Oct. 20, 1628, .S. P. Ireland. 

2 Falkland's answer to Brian Byrne's petition, Nov. 8. Falklands. 
nnswer to Phelim Byrne's petition, Nov. 12, 1628, ibid. 

3 The Committee to the English Privy Council, Jan. 20, 1629, ibid. 


mony the Byrnes had been indicted were for the most part 
condemned felons, who had saved their lives by offering to give 
such evidence as was sought for by persons in authority, 01 
who were driven to offer their testimony by threats or even by 
torture. One witness against the Byrnes had been placed on 
the rack, another had been put naked on a burning gridiron. 
Those who had got up the case by such means as these were 
Lord Esmond, Sir Henry Bellings, Sir William Parsons, William 
Graham, and others who were hungering for a share in the new 
plantation. One witness, Hugh Macgarrald, deposed 'that he 
was apprehended by William Graham, the Provost Marshal, who 
kept him seven days in his custody, tied with a hand-lock, and 
two several times the said Graham threatened to hang the ex- 
aminate if he would not do service against Phelim MacPheagh ; l 
one time sending for a ladder, and another time showing him 
a tree whereon he would hang -him, and the ropes or withs ; 
but the examinate, making protestation of having no matter to 
lay to the said Phelim's charge, did choose rather to suffer than 
to impeach him without a cause.' Another witness, Dermot 
O'Toole, deposed that since his committal ' he hath been 
solicited by Sir Henry Bellings to do service against Phelim 
MacPheagh and his sons in accusing them, . . . with promises 
that in recompense thereof he should be enlarged and have his 
own pardon, and if the examinate did not yield to do such ser- 
vice, that he, the examinate, should be hanged.' He deposed also 
that 'the said Sir Henry dealt with him in like manner, with the 
like promises, for accusing Phelim MacPheagh with the death 
of Mr. Pont. All which the examinate denied, being unable to 
accuse them thereof.' O'Toole proceeded to tell how Falkland 
himself interfered, and ' willed the examinate to choose whether 
of the three Provost Marshals he would be hanged by.' 

Similar depositions were forthcoming in plenty. The mode 
of finding the indictment at the Wicklow assizes was as iniqui- 
tous as the mode in which the evidence had been collected. 
The foreman of the grand jury was Sir James Fitzgerald, whose 
father had been burnt alive in the murderous attack in which 

1 i.e. Phelim Byrne. 


Phelim Byrne had been concerned. Another juryman was Sir 
Henry Bellings, who had been one of his chief accusers, and 
the remainder were in some way or another connected with 
the men who coveted the lands occupied by the Byrnes, whilst 
the greater part of them were legally disqualified from serving 
on a grand jury at all. 1 

The one man who could see nothing in all this calling for 
inquiry was Falkland. It is most unlikely that he had de- 
liberately given his authority to the execution of an 


position unjust sentence. He had rather been a tool in the 
hands of men who had made use of him for their 
own purposes. In the mind of a Lord Deputy there must 
always have been a latent presumption that any given Irishman 
was likely to have been guilty of conspiracy against the Govern- 
ment, as well as a strong suspicion that his followers and kins- 
men were disinclined to tell tales against him unless they were 
driven by threats and tortures to tell the truth. Even with 
men like Sir Henry Bellings the wish to prove the Byrnes 
traitors, for the sake of their lands, was probably father of a 
decided conviction that they actually were so. What was 
specially reprehensible in Falkland was his utter inability to 
perceive that the evil system which surrounded him fell in any 
Falkland's wa y short of ideal justice. It was a high indignity, 
apology. ne had lately written to the King, that his conduct 
should be examined by a commission, whilst the trial of traitors 
was suspended after they had been found to be malefactors by 
the testimony of sixteen loyal men impannelled legally. 2 

In consequence of the inquiry held at Dublin the Byrnes 
were set at liberty. 3 After this it was impossible to allow Falk- 
land to remain longer in Ireland. 4 In January, the Earl of 

1 The case of the O'Byrnes of Wicklow, Gilbert's Hist, of the Irish 
Confederation, ii. 167. 

* Falkland to the King, Dec. 8, 1628, Gilbert, ii. 210. 

3 Part of their lands is said to have remained in the hands of Sir W. 
Parsons. Carte's Orntond, i. 27. 

4 The strongest point in Falkland's favour is that a letter taking his 
part, and written by the majority of the Irish Council, bears the signatvre 
of Usher, who was one of the Commissioners. The writers refer the King 


Danby was named as his successor. Danby, however, was not 

very willing to engage again in the service of the State, and on 

August 10, 1629, the Lord Deputy was ordered to 

Falkland's hand over his authority to the Lords Justices, on 

the decent pretext that the King needed his advice 

at home. 1 

The Lords Justices were the Lord Chancellor and Richard 
Boyle, Earl of Cork, who respectively represented the two 
The Lords factions into which the Irish Council had been divided 
justices. during the last years of Falkland's office. So bitterly 
hostile were they to one another, that Charles thought it well 
to accompany their appointment with a message charging them 
to lay aside all personal rivalry in regard for the public service. 2 

Such a combination did not promise much amendment in 
the conduct of the Irish government The Lords Justices in- 
deed were not entirely idle. They reduced the army, and were 
thus able to spread over four years the contribution which had 
been granted for three. They also proceeded vigorously against 
the convents and the open celebration of the mass in Dublin. 
The friars and nuns were driven out, and their houses seized 
for the King's use. 

On May n, 1630, about 200 lords and gentlemen were 

to the information which he had received at the beginning of Falkland's 
government concerning the turbulence of the district of the Byrnes. 
" This," they proceed to say, "being at that time the declaration of the 
State, moved your Deputy being a siranger to have a wary aspect upon 
those people for the common peace, which he hath carefully performed." 
When a Spanish invasion was threatened, several persons were examined, 
and it was discovered that Phelim had entered into a combination for 
raising a commotion, and that a justice of the peace haa been murdered 
in consequence, before which they had never heard of any displeasure of 
the Deputy's against Phelim. They then expressed their belief that he had 
no aim except ' the reducement ' of Phelim's country ' to the conformity of 
other civil parts.' The Irish Council to the King, April 28, 1629, S. P. 
Ireland. The last quoted clause probably hits the mark. The sense of 
justice is often overpowered in well-intentioned persons by an ill-regulated 
sense of public duty. There was afterwards an inquiry in England, of 
which few particulars have reached us. 

1 The King to Falkland, Aug. 10, 1629, S. P. Ireland. 

4 The King to Wilmot, Aug. 5, ibid. 


summoned to the council-table, and were asked whether they 

wished to have a Parliament or not. All, with the single ex- 

1630. ception of Lord Gormanston, answered in the affir- 

May ii. mative. It was then settled that it should meet in 

A Parlia- 
ment to be November. 1 When, however, November arrived, no 


attempt was made to carry out this agreement. 
The day, however, at last arrived when a Parliament must 
be faced. At Christmas, 1632, the contribution 
jan.^12. would come to an end. In the preceding January * 
De n puty L an- Charles announced that he had chosen a new Lord 
Deputy. Wentworth was entrusted with the task of 
bringing Ireland to order, though more than a year was to pass 
before he arrived at Dublin to take up the duties of his office. 

1 Sir J. Ware's Diary, Crowcombe Court MSS. 

2 The King to the Lords Justices, Jan. 12, 1632, Straff. Letters, i. 63. 



THE new Lord Deputy had already shown himself to be pos- 
sessed of some of the highest qualifications of a ruler. He had 
, 6 , 2 a rapid intelligence, a firm will, and a fixed resolution 
Tan. 12 to allow no private interests to stand in the way of 

Went worths 

quaiifica- the interests of the State. In his correspondence 
government with Laud this resolution was expressed by the word 
>f Ireland. , t h orou gh.' There was to be thorough earnest- 
ness, thorough self-abnegation in the service of the State, 
thorough activity, too, of proceeding against those who opposed 
their own inactivity or greed to the just requirements of the 
Government. Such a man could hardly seek less than abso- 
lute power. Every evil which he connected with Parliamentary 
or official independence in England would return upon him 
The Irish w i tn redoubled force in Ireland. Privy councillors 
officials. anc j O ffi cer s of various kinds had been long accus- 
tomed to range themselves in opposing factions, and too many 
of them regarded their posts as property to be used for the 
best advantage, and would turn sharply upon the man who 
required from them the zealous activity which he himself dis- 
played. Nor was it possible in Ireland to fall back upon 
The Irish Parliament as a controlling force. In England the 
Parliament. vo i ce o f Parliament was coming to be more than 
ever the voice of an united nation. In Ireland there was no 
nation to represent. There might be members elected by the 
English colonists, and members elected by the Irish population: 
but there was no common feeling, no possibility of combining 


dissimilar elements so as to form a basis of authority. What 
Ireland needed was a government like that of India in the 
present day, supporting itself on an irresistible army and guided 
by statesmanlike intelligence.. It was unfortunate that in their 
honourable anxiety to raise Ireland to the level of England, 
English statesmen had thrust upon the country institutions for 
which it was manifestly unfit. Parliaments divided into two 
nearly equal factions, with scarcely a point in common, juries 
delivering verdicts from fear or favour, could never give real 
strength to a Government. Wentworth did not respect these 
institutions. He believed himself capable of doing 
syftemof s more for Ireland than Irishmen themselves could 
ent * do. Unhappily, his very intellectual superiority led 
him to think very much of doing the thing that was right and 
profitable, and very little of the morality of the means which he 
took to accomplish his ends. ' If Parliaments or juries objected 
to give effect to his schemes, their resistance was to be overcome 
by threats, persuasion, or cajolery. He had come to regard all 
constitutional restraints as mere impediments to honest action. 
" I know no reason then," he subsequently wrote to Laud, 
after he had been a few months in Ireland, " but you may as 
well rule the common lawyers in England as I, poor beagle, 
do here ; and yet that I do, and will do, in all that concerns 
my master's service, at the peril of my head. I am confident 
that the King, being pleased to set himself in the business, is 

1 I do not know whether Wentworth was a student of Machiavelli. 
But there is much in his conduct in Ireland which reminds us of The 
Prina, not only in hi.s recognition that good government is the firmest 
support of authority, but in particular acts. The settlement of Connaught, 
for instance, is the translation into action of Machiavelli's words, cap. iii. 
" L' altro miglior remedio e mandare colonie in uno o in duoi luoghi, che 
siano quasi le chiavi di quello Stato ; perche e necessario o far questo, o 
tenervi assai gente d' arme e fanterie. Nelle colonie non spende molto il 
Principe, e senza sua spesa, o poca, ve le manda e tiene ; e solamente 
offende coloro a chi toglie il campi e le case per darle a nuovi abitatori, 
che sono una minima parte di quello Stato." Another of Machiavelli's 
maxims was turned against him by CLarles (cap. xix.) : " Di che si pu6 
trarre un altro notabile, che li principi debbono le cose di carico metier 
sopra d' allri, e le cose di grazia a se medesimi." 


able by his wisdom and ministers to carry any just and 
honpurable action through all imaginary opposition, for real 
there can be none ; that to start aside for such panic fears as 
a Prynne or an Eliot shall set up, were the meanest folly in the 
whole world ; that, the debts of the Crown taken off, you may 
govern as you please." l Nor was it only with lawyers and 
Parliaments that he was ready to deal in this high-handed 
fashion. In his impatience of ignorant obstructiveness, he shut 
his eyes to the necessity of respecting the ideas and habits of a 
population, and he forgot that multitudes who had no means 
of enforcing his attention to their wishes might nevertheless 
cling with tenacious pertinacity to their old ways in spite of all 
that he could do to lead them in another direction. 

In carrying out the enterprise upon which he had em- 
barked, the King's name was to Wentworth a tower of strength. 
In England he had never scrupled to use it freely, as if 
the establishment of the royal authority was identical with the 
interests of the State. In Ireland it was far more identical 
with them than in England. Only in the King's name could 
Wentworth rebuke the elements of disorder and corruption, 
could teach idle and selfish officials to labour for the public 
good, could snatch public property out of the hand of the 
robber, and could contend against the abuses of ages from 
which the poor suffered oppression, and the rich and powerful 
reaped advantage. 

The first necessity of a Government thus situated was to 
possess an army upon which it could thoroughly depend. Yet 

so decided was the feeling in Ireland against a con- 
Need of 
support for tinuance of the contributions, that it seemed hopeless 

the army. . . , , . . , 

to obtain the money needed for the support of the 
soldiers without a more open breach of legality than Wentworth 
deemed expedient. In the opinion of the Lords Justices 
indeed the only course to be pursued was the enforcement of 
the shilling fines for recusancy. 

1 Wentworth to Laud, Dec. 1633, Stratford Letters, i. 171. The 
phrase shou'd l>e interpreted by the ' any just and honourable action ' 
which precedes. 


Wentworth's course was swiftly taken. Having received 

from the King the assurance that all business should pass 

through his hands, and that all offices should be 

February. /-,IT- 1-1 n i r , 

Wears taken conferred by himself, 1 as well as that no fresh ex- 
w^nhTo penditure should be incurred without his consent, 
pm his end. j^ obtained a letter from Charles ordering present- 
ments of recusancy to be generally made, so that, although no 
fines were for the present to be levied, a general impression 
might be created that payment would be enfo ced at the end of 
the year, when the contribution would cease to be available. 2 
At the same time he despatched a secret agent to the prin- 
cipal Catholics with instructions to lay the blame of the 
measure on the Earl of Cork. The new Lord Deputy, he was 
to tell them, was their best friend, and it would be well for 
them to avert the immediate danger by offering to continue 
the contribution for another year. With this alternative be- 
fore them the Catholics readily consented to do as Wentworth 
wished. The Protestants were too dependent on the Govern- 
ment to venture to resist. 

It was not that Wentworth differed from Cork in his aims. 
If he wished to see Ireland as prosperous as England, he had 
no doubt that it was only by the supremacy of English law and 
English religion that so desirable a result was to be attained. 
"I am not ignorant," he wrote to Cottington, "that what hath 
Oct. i. been may happen out again, and how much every 
v^wTfthe >s g 00 ^ Englishman ought, as well in reason of state 
situation. as conscience, to desire that kingdom were well re- 
duced to conformity of religion with us here, as indeed shut- 
ting up the postern gate, hitherto open to many a dangerous 
inconvenience and mischief." 3 He had, however, a clear in- 
sight into at least some of the difficulties in his way. He knew 
that English supremacy could not root itself in Ireland by 
means- of an irritating persecution conducted by men who had 
nriched themselves by expropriating native landowners. Of that 

1 Wentworth's Propositions, Feb. 17, 1632, Sii-afford Letters, i. 65. 
5 The J King to the Lords Justices, Ajifil 14, 1632, ibid. i. 71. 
* Wentworth to Cotiington, Oct. 4, 1632, ibid. i. 74. 

1632 THE EARL OF CORK. 33 

evil class which, under a display of Protestant zeal, cloaked its 
eagerness to use the forms of the law to add field to field at the 
expense of the Celtic population, Richard Boyle, the Great 
Earl of Cork, as he was frequently styled, was the most con- 
The Great spicuous. He had come over to Ireland as an 
Earl of Cork, adventurer in 1588. with twenty-seven pounds in his 
pocket. He began his operations by buying up for a trifle 
valuable claims, which those who held them did not know 
how to turn to account. He contrived to gain the favour of 
men in authority, and, unless he is much maligned, he used his 
opportunities unscrupulously. Before the end of the sixteenth ' 
century he held more land than anyone else in Ireland. Yet he 
knew how to use to the best advantage the wealth which he 
had unscrupulously acquired. His estates were well cultivated. 
Buildings of all kinds houses, churches, and schools rose 
upon them. 1 In the recent distractions he had taken the side 
of Falkland against the Lord Chancellor and Annesley. He 
could see no harm in the treatment to which the Byrnes had 
been subjected, and no danger in the exasperation which would 
ensue if a whole population were fined for refusing to abandon 
its religion. 

A prosperous man of the world, imagining that a nation can 
be governed in accordance with the rules on which a pettifogging 
lawyer conducted business, was just the personage with whom 
Wentworth was certain to come into collision. The new Deputy 
was unwilling to come to a final decision on the best mode of 
reducing Ireland to order till he had had an opportunity of 
seeing the country with his own eyes. He knew at least that 
Cork's empiric remedies were no remedies at all. "My lord," 
Wentworth he wrote of the reduction of Ireland to conformity 
see a withhis with England, in continuing his letter to Cottington ; 
own eyes. j t j s a g reat business, hath many a root lying deep, 
and far within the ground, which would be first thoroughly 
opened before we judge what height it may shoot up into, 
when it shall feel itself once struck at, to be loosened and 
pulled up. Nor, at this distance can I advise it should be 

1 The character of the Earl is dissected, with quotations from original 
documents, in Wright's Histoiy of Ireland, i. 618. 


at all attempted, until the payment for the King's army be else- 
where and surelier settled, than either upon the voluntary gift 
of the subjects or upon the casual income of the twelve pence 
a Sunday. Before this fruit grows ripe for gathering, the army 
must not live precario, fetching in every morsel of bread upon 
their swords' points. Nor will I so far ground myself with an 
implicit faith upon the all-foreseeing providences of the Eail of 
Cork, as to receive the contrary opinion from him in verbo 
tnagistri, when I am sure that if such a rush as this should set 
that kingdom in pieces again, I must be the man that am like 
to bear the heat of the day, and to be also accountable for the 
success, not he. Elame me not then, when it concerns me so 
nearly, both in honour and safety, if I had much rather desire 
to hold it in suspense, and to be at liberty upon the place to 
make my own election, than thus be closed up by the choice 
and admission of strangers, whom I know not how they stand 
affected either to me or the King's service." l 

Wentworth took good care to let the Irish officials know 
that he intended to be their master, not, as Falkland had 
Oct. 15. been, their servant. On October 15 he reminded the 
juTti^T 15 Lord Justices, in a sharp letter, that they had been 
warned. ordered by the King six months before to abstain 
from the bestowal of offices, and that they had not only 
neglected the orders given, but had kept secret the letter in 
which they were contained. " Pardon me, my lords," he wrote, 
" if in the discharge of my own duty I be transported beyond my 
natural modesty and moderation, and the respects I personally 
bear yo'ir lordships, plainly to let you know I shall not connive 
at such a presumption in you, thus to evacuate my master's 
directions, nor contain myself in silence, seeing them before 
my face so slighted, or at least laid aside, it seems, very little 
regarded." 2 

1633. Wentworth had thus a full year in which to take 

July 23. j^g measures jr or some unexplained reason he did 


in Dublin, not arrive in Ireland till the summer of 1633. On 
July 23 he entered Dublin. He soon found that he would 

1 Wentworth to Cottington, Or.t I, 1632, Strafford letters, i. 74. 
J Wentworth to ths Lords Justices, Oct. 15, 1632, S. P. /relatui. 


have to create his instruments of government himself. " I find 
them in this place," he wrote, " a company of men the most 
intent upon their own ends that ever I met with, and so as 
those speed, they consider other things at a very great "dis- 
tance." The army was one 'rather in name than in deed, 
whether it was considered in numbers, in weapons, or in disci- 
pline.' He was almost frightened to see the work before him. 
'Yet," he encouraged himself by saying at the end, "you shall 
see I will not meanly desert the duties I owe to my master and 
myself. Howbeit, without the arm of his Majesty's counsel 
and support, it is impossible for me to go through with this 
work." 1 Whatever support the King's name might give him 
he might freely enjoy. For counsel he must look to himself 

The Deputy's first work was to obtain a prolongation of the 
Contribution for yet another year. By dexterously mingling 
hopes of an approaching Parliament with a declara- 
but1onpro- tion of his resolution to take the money by force if 
he could not have it in any other way, he obtained 
the assent first of the Council and then of the Catholic land- 
owners." 2 

The ends which Wentworth proposed to himself were in 
the highest degree honourable to his character. He saw that 
Wentwoith's l ^ e mass f ^e Irish population were ignorant and 
plans. poverty-stricken, liable to be led astray by their 

priests, and imposed upon by their lords. He wished to raise 
them to material prosperity, to make them laborious and con- 
tented. He wished, too, to give them knowledge and educa- 
tion, that they might be, as Englishmen were, loyal Protestant 
subjects of the King. Force and policy must combine to the' 

1 Wentworth to Portland, Aug. 3, 1633, 5". P. Ireland, \. 96. 

2 Wentwonh to Coke, Aug. 3, 1633, Stratford Letters, i. 97. Frota 
the account given here of the Council meeting, it is evident that the 
Deputy had the support of the party which had hitherto been opposed to 
Falkland. Sir Adam Loftus, the Chancellor's son, first proposed the con- 
tinuance of the contribution. " The Lord Chancellor and the Lord 
Mountnorris showed themselves throughout very ready to give it all fur- 
therance." On '.he other hand, Cork and Parsons are noted as behaving 
in an unsatisfactory way. 

D 2 


desired end. The natives must be taught to feel their own 
weakness, and to acknowledge that the stern discipline imposed 
upon them was for their advantage. Trade and agriculture 
would flourish, and those who were benefited by the prosperity 
which followed vyould hardly look back with longing eyes to 
the days of wretchedness which had for ever passed away. 

The sixteenth century had bequeathed to the seventeenth 
an overweening confidence in the power of government. In 
Hisconfi- England especially the sovereigns had done much 
powTr'of 1116 to e ff ect a change in the religion and in the social 
government, condition of the country, and they seemed to have 
done much more than they really did. It is easy for us, 
standing at a distance, to take account of the national craving 
for independence of foreign dictation which drove unwilling 
Catholics to support a Protestant Government. It was not 
then easy to trace out the influence of other causes for the 
success of Elizabeth than those which she drew from her own 
high spirit and enlightened judgment. So much had been 
done by governmental energy and by governmental adroitness 
that everything seemed possible to energy and adroitness. 
Just as Bacon under-estimated the mystery of material nature 
when he joyously declared himself to have taken all knowledge 
for his province, -so did Wentworth under-estimate the mystery 
of human nature when he thought that a few years would 
enable him to transform ignorance into knowledge and distrust 
into fidelity. It was true that he was about to accomplish 
marvels ; but he could not accomplish miracles. Nothing 
short of a miracle would suddenly transform the Irish Protes- 
tant Church into a true nursing-mother of the Celtic population 
in the midst of which it was encamped, or would suddenly 
transform the English colonists into beneficent diffusers of light 
and civilisation. The Irish only knew the foreign clergy as 
greedy collectors of tithes, and the foreign settlers as greedy 
encroachers upon land. Nor had Wentworth himself the 
qualities which enable men to conciliate opposition. Careless 
of popularity and disdaining the arts by which it is acquired, 
he would not condescend to explain his intentions even to those 
whom he most wished to benefit. He could not understand 


why it was that he was not loved. He left his actions to speak 
for themselves, and wondered that they were so often misinter- 

The Deputy lost no time in bringing his little army to a 

complete state of efficiency. He knew that punctual pay was 

the first requisite for the restoration of discipline, and 

November. * 

Discipline of by establishing a strict system of payment he soon 
rmy ' put an end to the loose system by which the soldier 
had been a terror to the civil population and a broken reed in 
the hands of authority. The officers were startled to find that 
the new Lord Deputy, who, unlike his predecessors, was General 
of the army as well as Governor of the State, actually expected 
them to attend to their duties. 1 His own troop of horse soon 
became a model for the rest of the army. 

Wentworth's devouring zeal for the public service found 
little echo in the Council. The Chancellor, and Anneslcy, 
The Privy now Lord Mountnorris, gave him some support ; 
Council. b ut their support was at best lukewarm, and others 
looked askance upon the obtrusive Englishman who could not 
let matters alone which had been let alone so long. By degrees 
he gathered round him a few friends upon whom he could 
depend. He brought Wandesford from Yorkshire to be Master 
of the Rolls. He introduced Radcliffe, another Yorkshireman, 
into the Council. Loyal and devoted as they were, such men 
would serve as instruments for his policy ; but they could not 
warn him against his errors. 

Wistfully he looked across the sea for support. Although 
the King was ready to stand by him, and to trust him with such 
Wentworth's powers as had never been entrusted to any former 
wifh'the Deputy, he found it hard to keep the promise which 
Kin s- he had given to leave all appointments in the Deputy's 

hands. Holland and the Queen were always pestering him 
with applications for unsuitable grants in favour of unsuitable 
persons, and he shrank from saying No. It cost Wentworth a 
hard struggle to defend from the greed of the English courtiers 
the revenue present and prospective upon which he counted. 

1 \Vcntwottli to Cottington, Nov. 4, Straffbrd Letters, i. 144, 


The very army was tampered with to gratify suitors at Whitehall, 
and even when Charles had no intention of unsettling Went- 
worth's arrangements in Ireland, he made no difficulty in leaving 
him to bear the odium of the refusal. In one of his letters 
he mentioned the names of some of the principal men in -his 
Court who had asked for favour to be shown to them in Ireland. 
"I recommend them all to you," he added, "heartily and 
earnestly, but so as may agree with the good of my service and 
no otherwise ; yet so too as that I may have thanks ; howsoever 
that, if there be anything to be denied, you may do it, and not 
I." 1 One case cost Wentworth a severe struggle. Falkland 
had died 2 before his successor crossed the sea, and had made 
it his dying request to the King to provide for his second son, 
Lorenzo Gary, in the Irish army. As long as Wentworth was 
Lorenzo by ^is s ^ e Charles properly refused to entrust a 
Carys case, company of soldiers to so young a lad. Soon after 
Wentworth reached Dublin he discovered that the appointment 
had been made without consulting him. He explained to 
Charles that the company had been under the command of the 
late Lord Deputy, and had been left by him in the utmost dis- 
order, and that young Cary was not likely to remedy the mischief. 
Besides, he had already appointed a real soldier to the post, 
and to force him to cancel the nomination would be evidence 
to the world that he was not trusted in England. His remon- 
strances were of no avail. Charles insisted that he had passed 
his word to Cary, though he assured Wentworth that nothing 
of the kind should occur again. 3 

Till Wentworth arrived in Ireland little or nothing had 
been done to free the seas from pirates, and from privateers 
Piracy w ^ were pirates in all but name. On his passage 
repressed. across St. George's Channel, he had himself lost 
property worth 5<Do/. He found trade at a standstill. A Dutch 
vessel had been rifled and set on fire within sight of Dublin 

1 The King to Wentworth, Oct. 26, 1633, Strafford Letters, i. 140. 

2 He fell from a ladder in the park at Theobald's and broke his leg. 
He died after the limb had been amputated. His eldest son Lucius had 
been dismissed from the command of a company by the Lords Justices. 

* Stratford Letters, i. 128, 138, 142, 207, 2-'8. 


Castle. His anger was especially roused by such a defiance of 
his authority. "The loss and misery of this," he wrote, "is not 
so great as the scorn that such a picking villain as this should 
dare to do these insolences in the face of that State, and to pass 
away without control." l 

The pirates were for the most part subjects of the King 
of Spain ; but though Wentworth was anxious to be on good 
terms with Spain, he did not, for that reason, deal leniently 
with Spanish pirates. In a short time he had two ships of his 
own to guard the coast. To their command he appointed Sir 
Richard Plumleigh, a man after his own heart. Before long, 
piracy in the Irish seas was the exception and not the rule. 

Hand in hand with the suppression of piracy went the en- 
couragement of trade. Wentworth's letters are full of evidence 

Trade ^ tne care ^^ which he descended into the minutest 

encouraged, details. The humble beginnings of the great flax 
culture of the North of Ireland owed their origin to him. He 
advanced money from his own pocket towards the carrying 
out of a project for manufacturing iron ordnance in the country. 
He spent long hours over an attempt to open commercial inter- 
course with Spain, and was never in better spirits than when he 
fancied that his efforts were likely to be crowned with success. 
He was deeply annoyed at the short-sighted eagerness of the 
English Government to place restrictions on Irish exportation 
for the protection of English manufactures. His notions on 
the evil of customs duties were in advance of his generation. 
On one occasion he advocated the imposition of a payment 
upon brewers on the ground that it might be ' a step towards 
an excise, which although it be heathen Greek in England, yet 
certainly would be more beneficial to the Crown and less felt 
by the subject than where the impositions are laid upon the 
foreign vent of commodities inward and outward.' 
Exceptional Wentworth's recommendations that the rise of a 
ciothand' f doth manufacture in Ireland should be discouraged, 
"'^ and that the sole right of importing salt should re- 

main in the hands of the Government, stand in startling con- 

1 Wentworth to Portland, June 9, 1633, Sir afford Letters, i. 89, 


trast with his other enlightened suggestions, and he intended 
them to stand in contrast. It was the indispensable condition 
of the reforms which he was meditating, that Ireland should 
be perfectly submissive to the English Government. There 
are those doubtless who, knowing how ill the English Govern- 
ment subsequently acquitted itself of its task, would argue 
that it would have been far better if Ireland had been left 
to independence, and had worked out her own destinies in 
the midst of the strife and confusion which would have been 
the inevitable result. Those, however, who approve of Went- 
. worth's end can hardly fairly cavil at the means. Till his 
healing measures had found acceptance, and as long as the 
Irish feeling was still one of distrust if not of exasperation, 
some way must be found of sustaining the English dominion 
by other means than by the loyal assent of the governed. If 
Ireland was to be held in subjection, it was better that she 
should submit because Irishmen could not keep meat for winter 
use without English salt, or could not cover their nakedness 
without English cloth, than because they were subjected to 
slaughter and rapine by an English army. Nor was the injury 
to any class of the population very great. There were no 
flourishing cloth manufactures in existence in Ireland to be 
ruined. 1 Their only chance of existence in the future would 
be owing to the peace and order which Wentworth was doing 
.his best to establish. If here and there some few Irishmen, 
who for some local reason might be profitably employed in 
making cloth, were forced to seek some other mode of liveli- 
hood, the grievance was not a great one in comparison with 
the sources of profit which Wentworth was opening up in every 
direction. 2 At all events, there is nothing in common between 
Wentworth's measures and the selfish legislation of the later 

1 Wentworth argued that one reason for allowing wool to be exported 
was ' because they have no means here to manufacture it themselves, so as 
the commodity would be utterly lost to the growers unless this expedient 
be granted.' Wentworth to Coke, Jan. 31, 1634, Stratford Letters, i. 194. 
'No doubt Wentworth also argued that the King's customs would benefit, 
but this is plainly not his primary reason. 

* Wentworth to Portland, Jan. 31, 1634, Stafford Letters, i. 190. 


English Parliaments. The wool manufacture was to be re- 
pressed, not that England might grow rich, but that Ireland 
might have peace. 

Wentworth knew better than to trust to material prosperity 
alone. He looked to the Church to supply the moral and 
State of the intellectual force which was to wean the Irish from 
church. t h e creed which divided them from most of their 
fellow-subjects of English race. The condition of the Irish 
Church, when Wentworth landed, was indeed deplorable. Over 
a great part of the country tke fabrics of the churches were in 
ruins, and the revenues by which the clergy should have been 
supported had either disappeared in the tumults of the sixteenth 
century, or had been filched by the neighbouring landowners. 
There were parts of Ireland in which half a dozen benefices 
did not produce enough to furnish a suit of clothes to the 
pluralist incumbent. In such a state of things large numbers 
of benefices were of necessity heaped upon the head of a single 
person, who was often a needy adventurer without a thought 
of fulfilling the duties of a position which furnished him with 
a miserable pittance, and it was seldom that suitors of this 
kind thought of asking for less than three vicarages at a time. 1 
The Bishops' courts were in the hands of rapacious lawyers 
who exasperated the Irish by their exactions. The peasant 
who counted it a sacrilege to bring his children for baptism to 
a heretic font, or to hear words of consolation pronounced by 
heretic lips over the grave of those whom he loved, was heavily 
fined if he ventured to seek the services of a priest of his own 
communion, till Wentworth interfered to stop the abuse. The 
Bedell at excellent Bedell was no sooner appointed to the 
Kiimore. bishoprics of Kilmore and Ardagh than he protested 
against the folly of such tyranny. " I do thus account," he 
wrote to Laud, " that among all the impediments to the work 
Complains of God amongst us, there is not any greater than the 
chilrch abuse of ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The demonstra- 
courts; tj on thereof is plain. The people pierce not into 
the inward and true reasons of things : they are sensible in the 
purse. Wherefore let us preach never so piously ourselves, so 
1 Bramhall to Laud, Aug. 10, 1633, S. F. Ireland. 


long as the officers in our courts do prey upon the people, they 
account us no better than publicans, and so much the more 
deservedly, because we are called spiritual men and reformed 
Christians." Bedell's own chancellor, one Alan Cook, appointed 
by his predecessor, and irremovable by himself, was one of the 
worst of these harpies. "Among the Irish," he said, " he had 
gotten the name of Pouke " the rude original of Shakspere's 
gamesome Puck " and indeed they fear him like the fiend 
of hell. To his austerity the abandoning of the country by 
above a thousand of the inhabitants the last year was more im- 
puted than to the hardness of the times." ' 

No less pertinent was Bedell's complaint of the ignorance 
of the Irish language which was almost universal amongst 
andofieno- the clergy. How, he asked, could a minister dis- 
w"h e ian- the charge his duty who could not speak to his flock in 
guage. t h e i r own tongue. It was no wonder that the Catholic 
priests, who were at no such disadvantage, gained the hearts of 
the people and were superior even in numbers to the Protestant 
clergy. 2 

If any man could have gained the confidence of Irishmen, it 
would have been Bedell. To the pluralists he spoke by example. 
His life in He resigned the See of Ardagh that he might not 
his diocese. \^ o \^ a second bishopric. At great expense of time 
and money he carried on a suit to get rid of his oppressive 
chancellor, and when he was unsuccessful in this he never failed 
to appear in person in his court, in the hope that he might 
shame him into better behaviour by his presence. He worked 
hard to acquire the Irish language, and as livings in his gift fell 
vacant, he refused to appoint any who had not followed his 
example. Prayers were read in Irish in his cathedral, and he 
superintended the translation of the Old Testament, that of the 
New Testament alone having been hitherto completed. 

Bedell's zeal was not without its results. Irish converts 
its results, gathered round him, and even Irishmen whom he 
was unable to convert loved and reverenced the English stranger 
who had given them his heart. But it was not in the nature of 

' Bedell to Laud, Aug. 7, 1630, Land's Works, vi. 280. 

z Bedell to Usher, Sept. 18, 1630, Burnet's Life of Be Jell, 52. 


things that there should be many Bedells, and there was no 
hope of gaining the Irish people on any other condition. 

What Wentworth could do, he did. He sternly repressed 

the persecuting zeal of the officials. It was useless, he said, to 

fine the Catholics for not attending church as long 

Wentworth . __ , , 

on Church as there were no churches to go to. 1 He had no 
difficulty in tracing the causes of the evil to 'an un- 
learned clergy, which have not so much as the outward form of 
churchmen to cover themselves with, nor their persons any way 
reverenced or protected ; the churches unbuilt ; the parsonage 
and vicarage houses utterly ruined ; the people untaught, through 
the non-residency of the clergy, occasioned by the unlimited 
shameful numbers of spiritual promotions with cure of souls, 
which they hold by commendams ; the rites and ceremonies of 
the Church run over without all decency of habit, order, or 
gravity, in the course of their service ; the possessions of the 
Church to a great proportion in lay hands ; the bishops alien- 
ing their very principal houses and demesnes to their children, 
to strangers, 2 farming out their jurisdiction to mean and unworthy 
persons ; the Popish titulars exercising the whilst a foreign juris- 
diction much greater than theirs ; the schools which might be a 
means to season the youth in virtue and religion either ill-pro- 
vided, ill-governed for the most part, or, which is worse, applied 
sometimes underhand to the maintenance of Popish school- 
masters ; lands given to these charitable uses, and that in a 
bountiful proportion, especially by King James of ever-blessed 
memory, dissipated, leased forth for little or nothing, concealed, 
contrary to all conscience and the excellent purposes of the 
founder; the College here, which should be the seminary of 
arts and civility in the elder sort, extremely out of order, partly 
by means of their statutes, which must be amended, and partly 
under the government of a weak provost; all the monies raised 
for charitable uses converted to private benefices ; many patron- 
ages unjustly and by practice gotten from the Crown.' 3 

1 Wentworth to Laud, Dec. 1633, Strafford Letters, i. 171. 
- The hurried omission of the conjunction is quite in Went worth's 
manner. It frequently occurs in his speech at York. 

1 Wentworth to Laud, Jan. 31, 1634, Strafford Letters^ i. 187. 


One of the chief offenders amongst the laity was the Earl 
of Cork. VVentworth had long had his eye upon him, and he 
rhurch was now able to charge him with appropriating to 
t P ake^?rora himself, for a paltry rent of 2o/., the whole of the 
Cork. revenues of the bishopric of Lismore which brought 

him in i,ooo/. a year. Another sum of ioo/. a year, which should 
have been applied to the repairs of the cathedral, went to swell 
the Earl's income, and the cathedral was in consequence falling 
into ruins. A suit was at once commenced against him in the 
Castle Chamber, a court answering to the English Star Cham- 
ber, and in the end he was compelled to disgorge thus much of 
his ill-gotten wealth, and to submit to a heavy fine. 1 

Another dispute between the Deputy and the Earl was of a 
more personal character. Lady Cork had lately died, and the 
Lady Cork's widower had erected a gorgeous tomb to her memory 
tomb. j n j Patrick's. The monument was placed under 

the chancel arch, and part of it occupied the space on which 
the high altar had formerly stood. As soon as Laud heard of 
it, he protested that this was no place for a tomb. Charles was 
at first inclined to pass the matter over, but he finally decided 
as Laud wished him. The Lord Deputy, nothing loth, ordered 
the tomb to be pulled down, and to be re erected in another 
part of the church. 

Wentworth's ceremonialism did not go very deep. He 
was not likely to agitate the Irish Church as the English Church 
Church was Dem g agitated by Laud. But he was himself 
ceremonies. f onc j o f outward decency and order, and he believed 
that the neglect of formalities would stand in the way of the 
conversion of the Catholic population. When he arrived in 
Ireland he found that one of the Dublin churches had served 
his predecessor for a stable, that a second had been converted 
into a dwelling-house, and that the choir of a third was used 
as a tennis court. The vaults underneath Christ Church were 
let out as alehouses and tobacco- shops. In the choir above, 
the communion-table, standing in the midst of the congrega- 
tion, had become an ordinary seat for maids and apprentices. 

1 State of the Bishopric, May 3. 1634, 5. P. Ireland. 


Wentworth orderea the communion-table to be placed at the 
east end, as in English cathedrals. 1 He put a stop to the 
practice of walking about in the aisles and chattering during 
service, and shut up the tobacco-shops below. Further than 
this he did not go. He was not so ignorant of the relative 
importance of things as to impose the duty of changing the 
position of the communion-table upon the country clergy, at 
least till the Irish clergy were in a different state from that 
in which he found them. The first thing to be done was to 
regain the lost property of the Church, so that a single Irish 
benefice might once more be worth accepting. The next thing 
would be to induce able and zealous ministers to transfer them- 
selves to Ireland. When that was accomplished, everything 
else which Wentworth desired might be expected to follow. 
Wentworth did all that lay in his power to improve the con- 
dition of the benefices. From the King he obtained a grant 
to the clergy of all impropriations in possession of the Crown, 
and efforts, which were successful in some instances, were 
made to induce the laity in like case to follow the Royal 

For Wentworth the difficulties of the Irish. Church were 
only part of the difficulties of bringing the Irish nation under 

l634- discipline and order. For some time he had been 
forTparlia. 5 m correspondence with the King on the subject of 
ment. t ne coming Parliament. That Parliament was in no 

sense representative of the Irish population. In the House of 
Lords the bishops, reinforced by Englishmen who had received 
Irish peerages, could give a majority to the Government ; and 
the House of Commons had been so arranged in the preceding 
reign as deliberately to falsify the expression of Irish opinion. 
Seats had heen given to the merest hamlets, provided that 
they were likely to return Englishmen and Protestants. The 
session of 1613 had been disgraced by an open fight between 
the two factions. Such a body could never serve any of the 

1 Sir James Ware in his Diary speaks of this as having been done on 
Tune 21, before Wentworth's arrival. Bramhall, however, in his letter of 
Aug. 10 (Works, i. Ixxix.), speaks of the abuse as still existing. Perhaps 
the order was given but not carried out till Wentworth came. 


purposes for which Parliaments are designed. Wentworth 
liked it the better for that. He knew that the two parties 
were nearly equal, and that there was a slight majority on 
the side of the Protestants, and he believed that by a skilful 
mixture of firmness and blandishment he might play the two 
parties off against one another, until he had gained from 
them the semblance of a national sanction to the decrees which 
emanated from his own will. 

It was an immense advantage to Wentworth that the Irish 
Parliament was debarred by Poyning's law from taking any Bill 
His plan for m to consideration which had not previously been 
the n pfriit- submitted to the English Privy Council. He was thus 
ment. freed from such claims as had been put forward by 

the English House of Commons ' to a liberty to offer anything 
in their own time and order.' His immediate object was to 
gain a grant of subsidies sufficient to support the army for a few 
years without the Ccntributions. That breathing time was all he 
needed. He never doubted that, when it was over, the King's 
revenue would, through his efforts, have become equal to the 
expenditure. He now proposed that there should be two 
sessions. In the first, supply was to be granted unconditionally. 
In the second, such Bills for the benefit of the subject as he 
thought it advisable to pass should be converted into law. 

The Bills which Wentworth thought it advisable to pass did 
not include the whole of the Graces. More especially he in- 
tended to omit the confirmation of all estates with 
tion about sixty years' title, and the concession to the land- 
Graces. owners O f Connaught of those patents which, through 
no fault of their own, they had neglected to enrol. As far as 
Connaught was concerned, he had a plan of settlement very 
different from the confirmation of the rights of the existing 
landowners. In the rest of Ireland he had no wish to deal 
hardly with those whose titles were defective. But he would 
give them security, not by a sweeping measure applicable to the 
whole country, but by separate bargains in which each individual 
proprietor would have to compound for an indefeasible title by 
the payment of a moderate rent to the Crown. Before he left 
England he had obtained from the King the appointment of a 


Dody of Commissioners authorised to conclude bargains of this 
Kind, 1 and he now proposed that, together with the Subsidy Act, 
a Bill should be brought in and passed, even in the first session, 
giving a Parliamentary confirmation to such arrangements as 
these Commissioners might see fit to conclude. 

In rejecting these two Graces Wentworth undoubtedly 
believed that he Vas doing the best for Ireland as well as for 

the King. It was in his eyes the main condition of 
which he had good government in the future that the Irish should 

be held in subjection till the time came when they 
could be raised to a higher stage of civilisation by the educa- 
tive influence of a reformed clergy and by the enticements of 
material comfort. The scheme itself was hopeless from the 
beginning. Its very conception could only have proceeded from 
one who was ignorant as most, if not all of his contemporaries 
of English blood were ignorant of the persistency with which 
a race clings to its ancestral habits and modes of thought In 
fact, the very reason which made Wentworth most desirous of 
effecting the change would be accepted by a modern statesman 
as a' sufficient motive for rejecting it without a moment's hesi- 
tation. It was because the condition of the Irish stood in need 
of so much improvement that it was cruel as well as unwise to 
attempt to destroy their self-respect by hurrying them forcibly 
over the stages of progress which separated them from their 
English conquerors. Even if Wentworth's policy had been 
wiser than it was, it would have been heavily weighted from the 
beginning with the broken word of the King. Charles had ex- 
pressly promised that the next Parliament should be used to 
confirm the landowners' titles in Connaught as well as in the 
rest of Ireland. The course taken for the confirmation in indi- 
vidual cases might perhaps be regarded as a performance of 
that promise with a modification imposed by political necessity. 
The course taken with regard to Connaught was a direct breach 
of the engagement which had been given. 

On July 14, 1634, Parliament met. As Wentworth had 
hoped, the Protestants, many of whom were official dependenca 
1 Commission, Feb. n, 1632. Lascelles, Liber Mtinerunt Hibernia t 
u 135- 


on the Government, were in a small majority. He had instruc- 
tions to dissolve Parliament at once in case of an un- 
Meetfng 4 of expected refusal of supplies, and to levy the revenue 
ariiament. ^ e nee( j e( j by ^j s own authority. Nothing was further 

from his intentions than to allow any freedom of action to any 
one but himself. He heard with indignation that the Catholic 
priests had been threatening their flocks with Excommunication 
if they gave their votes to a Protestant. , Such a course, he de- 
clared, would lead to the division of the country into a Papist 
faction and a Protestant faction, a result which, as he naively 
added, ' is to be avoided as much as may be, .unless our numbers , 
were the greater.' A sheriff, who 'carried himself mutinously,' 
as Wentworth expressed it, at the Dublin election, was fined in 
the Castle Chamber, and deprived of his office. A successor 
was appointed, and two Protestant members were returned. 1 

In the speech with which the Deputy opened the session, he 
took care to address his hearers as he wished them to be, not as 

they really were. The King, he explained, had done, 
Wentuorth's and was doing all that could be done for the benefit 

of Ireland. In order that his beneficial rule might 
continue, the army must be maintained to give 'comfort and 
encouragement to quiet minds in their honest occasions, con- 
taining the licentious spirits within the modest bounds of 
sobriety.' For this purpose the debts of the Crown, amounting 
to 75,ooo/., must be paid off, and the yearly deficit of 2o,ooo/. 
filled up. The remedy must be permanent. It was beneath 
the dignity of his master to 'come at every year's end, with his 
hat in his hand, to entieat' them to be pleased to preserve them- 
selves. Then followed words of warning. "Let me advise you," 
said Wentworth, with keen recollections of the events of 1629, 
"suffer no poor suspicions or jealousies to vitiate your judg- 
ments, much rather become you wise by others' harms. You 
cannot be ignorant of the misfortunes these meetings have run 
of late years in England ; strike not therefore upon the same 
rock of distrust which hath so often shivered them. For what- 
ever other accident this mischief may be assigned unto, there 

1 Wentwcrth to Coke, June 24. Strajford Letters, i. 269. 


was nothing else that brought it upon us but the King's just 
standing to have the honour of our trust, and our ill-grounded 
obstinate fears that would not be secured. This was that spirit 
of the air that walked in darkness, abusing both, whereon if 
once one beam of light and truth had happily reflected, it had 
passed over as clouds without rain, and left the King far better 
contented with his people and them much more happy ; albeit 
as they are thanks to God and his Majesty the happiest of 
the whole world." Finally, there must be no divisions among 
them, between Catholic and Protestant, English and Irish. 
"Above all, divide not between the interests of the King and 
his people, as if there were one being of the King and another 
being of his people. This is the most mischievous principle 
that can be laid in reason of State, and that which, if you 
watch not very well, may the easiliest mislead you. For you 
might as well tell me a head might live without a body, or a 
body without a head, as that it is possible for a king to be rich 
and happy without his people be so likewise, or that a people 
can be rich and happy without the king be so also. Most 
certain it is that their well-being is individually one and the 
same, their interests woven up together with so tender and 
close threads as cannot be pulled asunder without a rent in the 
commonwealth." ' 

Some of those who listened to these words would doubtless 
look back over 1629 to 162 8, and would ask whether the speaker 
Was Went- was the same man as he who had stood up in the 
sist r ent C w?th English Parliament to declare that unless they were 
himself? secured in their liberties they could not give. Though 
it was not Wentworth's habit to defend himself, there can be 
little doubt that he would have declared his conduct to be per- 
fectly consistent. There was in his eyes all the difference in the 
world between England under Buckingham and Ireland under 
Wentworth. In the one case the head was at fault. In the 

1 Speech, July I5> Strafford Letters, \. n86. As this speech was an 
extempore one, it is more likely to reveal Wentworth's real nature. How 
permanent his ideas were will be seen by comparing it with the speech at 
York, in 1628. Even the quotation, ' Qiti nnjorc tiberfate gratiam qnietis 
rcferre solent, ' reappears. 



other case the body was incapable of appreciating the wisdom 
which flowed from the head. 

Wentworth's government had all the short-lived merits and 
the grave defects of despotism. The slightest attempt to con- 
vert constitutional fiction into a reality met with his 

July 17. 

Parties in most strenuous resistance. The first sitting of the 
the HOUS*. c ommons rev ealed the strength of parties. The 
Catholics moved to purge the House in plain words, to ex- 
clude many of the Protestants on the ground of non-residence 
in the constituencies which had elected them. The question 
was referred to a committee. The members of the committee 
were, however, nominated from the Protestant side by a majority 
of eight. 

Wentworth struck the iron whilst it was hot. The next 

morning, his friend Wandesford moved for six subsidies, a 

. . . grant far larger than the Deputy had, a short while 

Six subsidies before, thought it possible to obtain. Before the 

sitting was at an end they were voted without any 

difficulty whatever. 

Then, when it was too late, both parties combined to ask 

that the Graces might be confirmed. They were told that so 

many as were good for them should be passed into law in the 

next session. For the present they must content them- 

Aug. 2. f j 

End of selves with passing a Bill for giving a Parliamentary 

title to the awards of the Commissioners for defective 

titles. They at once submitted, and the session came to an end. 

Wentworth ordered the judges at the summer assizes to 

magnify the King's gracious favour in giving his assent to this 

Aug. 2i.. Bill, as well as to assure the people of the intention 

toVhe 10 " " 5 f tne Government to proceed to great reforms in the 

judges. next session. 1 

Isolated as he knew himself to be in Ireland, Wentworth 

Sept. 20. turned to the King for some token of his satisfaction 

^k" for an wn ^ cri m ight give assurance to all men that in resisting 

earieom. the Deputy they would have to reckon with the King. 

In all humility he asked for an earldom. Charles, who liked 

1 Wentvrorth to Coke, Aug. 18 ; Wentworth to the Judges, Aug. 21, 
1634, Stra/ord LttUrs, i. 276 29*. 


to be the originator of his own favours, refused to grant the 
request. 1 Wentworth . had to meet Parliament again without 
any mark of his sovereign's approbation. 

The new session was opened on November 4. On the 27th 

Wentworth announced that the whole of the Graces would 

not be the subject of legislation. In a moment the 

The second Catholic members of the Lower House burst into 


insurrection. Through the accidental absence of a 
few of their opponents, they found themselves in command of a 
majority. They declared that if the King's promise was to be 
thus scandalously broken, they would pass no Bills. One vote 
after another went against the Government Sir Piers Crosby, 
a member of the Privy Council, who had commanded an Irish 
A Catholic regiment at Rlie", put himself at the head of the 
majority. movement, and urged the rejection of a Bill for the 
punishment of accessaries to murder. 

Wentworth was not to be thus overborne. He summoned 
a meeting of the Privy Council, and obtained their assent to 
Wentworth t ^ 1G sec l uestra tio n of Crosby from the board till the 
recovers a King's pleasure could be known. At the same time 

majority. * + 

he made urgent instances to the absent Protestant 
members to return to their duty. In his eyes, whatever he might 
have said in his opening speech about the maintenance of har- 
mony between Catholic and Protestant, it was still a question 
of the gradual and irresistible supersession of the religion of 
the Irish by the religion of the English. " It may seem strange," 
he wrote, in the account of the affair which he sent home, "that 
this people should be so obstinately set against their own good, 
and yet the reason is plain ; for the friars and Jesuits, fearing 
that these laws would conform them here to the manners of 
England, and in time be a means to lead them on to a con- 
formity in religion and faith also, they catholicly oppose and 
fence up every path leading to so good a purpose ; and, in 
deed, I see plainly that, so long as this kingdom continues 
Popish, they are not a people for the Crown of England to be 
confident of ; whereas, if they were not still distempered by 

1 Wentworth to the King, Sept. 20, 1634. The King to Wentworth, 
Oct. 23, Stra/ord Letters, i. 301, 331. 



the infusion of these friars and Jesuits, I am of belief they 
would be as good and loyal to their King as any other subjects." 

The Protestant members responded to Wentworth's appeal. 
Dec. 15. They returned to their posts, and Bill after Bill was 
Scund fthe carried through the House. On December 15 the 
session. second session came to an end, to Wentworth's com- 
plete satisfaction. 1 

Two more short sessions were needed in the course of the 
following year to complete the work of legislation. No such 

series of wise and beneficent laws had ever been 


TWO more enacted in Ireland. Wentworth would have been 


willing to retain so useful a Parliament for future 
work. Charles, however, who held that Parliaments, being ' of 
the nature of cats, grew curst by age,' commanded a dissolution. 
With the aid of a Protestant majority which represented but 
a small minority of the population of Ireland, Wentworth had 
i6 obtained the semblance of a national approval to those 

December, changes in the law, which, as he hoped, would lead to 

The Irish . ' . ' '. 

convoca- changes greater still. At the same time his care was un- 
ceasing for the improvement of the material position 
of the clergy, in the expectation that they would thereby be the 
better fitted for the work which he expected from them ; but 
he was not content with improving their material position. He 
thought that it would be necessary, if they were ever to make con- 
verts of the Irish, to modify their teaching so as to render it more 
acceptable to those to whom they were sent. As the very fact 
that in Ireland a Protestant minority had been thrown in the 
midst of a Roman Catholic population, had made that minority, 
wherever it had retained any consciousness of religion at all, 
more defiantly and obtrusively Protestant than in countries 
where Protestantism had no danger to apprehend, the 

Wentworth . si 

demands its Irish articles which, under Usher's guidance, had been 

acceptanceof , . , , . . . .' _ . . . . , 

the English drawn up in 1615, had adopted the Calvmistic doc- 
trine in .its most distinctive form. Wentworth deter- 
mined that Convocation, without formally repealing these 
articles, should now adopt the articles of the Church of England, 
so as practically to supersede those which he found in existence. 
1 \Ventworth to Coke, Dec. 16, 1634, Stratford Letters, i. 345. 


To this high-handed attempt to deal with their belief, the 

clergy in the Lower House of Convocation naturally objected. 

They appointed a committee which proceeded to 

Opposition . , , - A, . . . 

of the Lower revise the canons of the Church of England, and 
which directed that the Irish articles should be 
received under pain of excommunication. The Deputy at 
once interfered. Sending for Dean Andrews, the chairman of 
the committee, he told him that he was possessed by the spirit 
of Ananias, and that ' it was not for a few petty clerks to pre- 
sume to make articles of faith.' With his own hand he drew 
up a canon prescribing the acceptance of the English articles, 
and ordered that it should be put to the vote. Wentworth's 
canon was adopted with only two dissentient voices. 1 The 
other canons of the Church of England were amended by 
Bramhall, perhaps under Usher's direction, and were finally 
adopted. 2 As far as Dean Andrews was concerned, Wentworth's 
,6 3S< contempt was amply justified. In order to punish 
Penal pro- jjj m he obtained from the Kins; his promotion to 

motion oi 

Andrews. the bishopric of Ferns, a see so poor as to afford to 
its new bishop a smaller income than that which he had received 
as Dean of Limerick. So delighted was Andrews with the pro- 
motion that he boasted of it openly in the pulpit before he 
learned the cost of it. "How long," he said, in a sermon at 
which Wentworth was present, " how long have we heretofore 
expected preferment. But now, God be praised, we have it." 
Wentworth had much difficulty in keeping his countenance. 
" He is a good child," he wrote, in giving an account of the 
scene, "and kisseth the rod." 3 

The condition of the Irish Church, in fact, was such as to 
invite the interference of the Deputy. It was the 

The Deputy _, i_ rii t i 

and the creature of the State as no other Church in the world 
was. If the protecting hand of the English Govern- 
ment were removed, it would fall of itself before the combined 

1 Wentworth to Laud, Dec. 16, Strafford Letters. Bramhall to Laud. 
Dec. 20, 1634, S. P. Ireland. The latter shows that the point was mooted 
in the Upper House, which Dr. Elrington doubted. U slur's Works, ii. 74. 

2 Elrington 's Life of Usher, Usher** Works, i. 178. 

1 Wentworth to Laud, March 10, 1635, Strafford Letters, \. 378. 


assaults of the native Catholics and of the rapacious landowners 
who extended to it a nominal deference. The habit of sub- 
servience to the Government was a necessity of the situation. 
It showed itself not merely in time-servers like Andrews, but in 
men as pious and honourable as Archbishop Usher. Went- 
worth professed a good-humoured but somewhat contemptuous 
toleration for an Archbishop who had done so little to help 
him in the emergency, mingled with a sincere respect for his 
learning and character. In fact Usher could hardly have acted 
otherwise than he did. Though he, as a believer in the Cal- 
vinistic doctrine of predestination, must have regarded the 
setting aside of the Irish articles with dissatisfaction, he had a 
keen sense of the evils which affected the clergy, and he justly 
regarded those evils as more destructive than slackness to 
advocate even a doctrine which he believed to be true. He 
therefore warmly supported Wentworth and Laud in their efforts 
for the moral improvement of the Irish clergy without approving 
of their doctrinal tendencies. 

The rejection of the Irish articles was followed by a fierce 

attempt to repress the Calvinistic Presbyterianism of the 

Scottish colonists in Ulster. Bramhall, the new 

teriLnsm in Bishop of Deny, was a man after Laud's own heart. 

He announced that he would soon put an end to such 

practices in his diocese. " It would trouble a man," he wrote, 

contemptuously, "to find twelve Common Prayer-books in all 

their churches, and those only not cast behind the altar because 

they have none ; but in place of it a table twelve yards long, 

where they sit and receive the sacrament like good fellows." l 

Zeal, unless it worked in his own grooves, was never in- 
telligible to Wentworth. No dream of the wildest enthusiast 
Hopeless- was ever more shadowy than the vision entertained 
Wenworth's by ^ m ^ a ren gi n sober and energetic, alike with- 
task. ou t doctrinal exaggerations and without the bitter- 

ness of party spirit by which they are attended. He might as 
well have attempted to yoke the zebra to his chariot as to bring 
the Scottish and English settlers of the North and the impulsive 

1 Bramhall to Laud, Dec. 20, 1634, S. P. Ireland. 


Celts of the rest of Ireland under the same decorous discipline 
of the English Church. Yet even here it was Wentworth's per- 
ception of facts rather than his judgment which was at fault. 
Calvinistic Presbyterianism with him was simply the work 
of a few factious agitators. Irish Catholicism was simply the 
work of friars and Jesuits. He had no conception that these 
forms of belief were but the natural outcome of the life of those 
by whom they were held, and that in seeking to eradicate those 
beliefs from the hearts of men he was embarked on an enter- 
prise to which even his powers were ludicrously inadequate. 
He might browbeat Parliaments and Convocations, because 
those Parliaments and Convocations were but shadowy emana- 
tions from an alien Government. He could neither create 
nor destroy the religion of a people. The Calvinistic preacher 
and the Jesuit missionary alike had a hold on the spiritual side 
of man's complex being. They appealed to his hopes of 
heaven, his craving for a guidance upon earth which he could 
follow without abandoning his own habits of belief. What had 
Wentworth to set in opposition to that ? 

Closely connected with Wentworth's eagerness to convert 

the Irish to Protestantism was his eagerness to introduce fresh 

English colonists in order to tighten his grasp upon 

The pro- . . T . . . 

posed plan- the native population. In neither case was he 
without a desire for improving the condition of the 
Irish themselves. He believed in his heart that they would be 
the better for the influence of the English settlers, just as he 
believed in his heart that they would be the better for the 
influence of the English form of religion. The desire of 
strengthening the King's authority and the desire of elevating the 
condition of his subjects were inseparably connected in his mind. 
How this matter of colonisation looked in the eyes of 
Englishmen may be learned from a paper of advice relating to a 
Paper of projected plantation of Ormond and the neighbouring 
ormond" the districts. " If the natives of those counties," we are 
plantation, told, " may be estated in convenient quantities for 
their livelihood by good grants from the King, they will be more 
ready and assured servants to the Crown and will build and 
plant ; whereas now, having no title and much of land divided 


into very petty tenancies, the people have no comfort to build 
or settle, neither are able to serve as becometh, nor to suppress 
the insolent idlers. If these countries were so governed by 
English, there would be an absolute interposition between the 
Irish of Connaught and the Irish of Leinster, both which are 
most wavering and doubtful of all other parts of the kingdom, 
whereas now, by the opportunity of the freedom they there 
enjoy to intercourse, the peace is daily disturbed. These were 
the countries that gave Tyrone passage and most relief when he 
brought his army into Munster to join the invading Spaniards ; 
so as the putting of these into right hands and governance is 
an act of greater consequence than is easily foreseen. Because 
there is no English in that country, there is not so much as the 
face of a church or any resident ministers. By this plantation 
the churches will be endowed, congregations settled, the 
religion in some measure professed, and the service of God 

Three towns, the writer added, should be built and settled 
with English burgesses, whilst the petty Irish might be esta- 
blished as copyholders or tenants for life of small proportions, 
to dwell about the towns, so that their children might be 
brought up in trade. Such of the natives as were ' possessed 
of any lands by virtue or pretence of any late patents ' were ' to 
be favourably used.' l 

Another writer treated of the counties of Roscommon, 
Sligo, and Mayo in a more trenchant style. " The remote 
Paper on parts of these counties which border upon the sea," 
Connaught. h e sa y S? anc j m ost of the inland counties, are in- 
habited with a poor indigent people so barbarous in all respects 
as the Indians or Moors. This plantation will bring in amongst 
them some undertakers of the British nation which sometime 
will beget the natives to more civility and conformity, as in 
other places they have done where the plantations have run. 
The inferior natives do all of them make their dependency 
upon the Irish lords, and do now pay unto them either public 
or private chiefries. There is not any one thing permitted by 

1 Advice to plant a portion on the Shannon, 6". P. Ireland, Bundle 


the State which draws with it a more pernicious inconvenience 
to the crown and commonwealth than this very particular, for 
it is the condition of the Irish lords and gentry to esteem all 
those who pay them rent and chiefries to be their people, their 
followers, their very slaves ; and the nature of the inferior Irish 
natives is to conceive and account his lord to whom he pays 
rent or chiefry to be his only patron and protector, as good and 
loyal subjects conceive of their king, to whom they are so 
devoted as they will at any time go into open action of rebellion 
at the will and pleasure of their lords." 

This evil, the writer proceeded to argue, would be remedied 
by the proposed plantation. " This plantation will bring in 
freeholders of the British nation into all the counties, who will 
be able to serve his Majesty and the commonwealth at all 
public services faithfully, equally, and indifferently, agreeable to 
the truth of their evidence, whereas at this present all business 
and matters are swayed and carried agreeable to the will and 
disposition of one or two men in a county, so that neither his 
Majesty nor any other subject can have any indifferency upon 
any inquiry or trial, to the great detriment and disservice of his 
Majesty, and the unspeakable loss and prejudice of the subject. 
This plantation will double his Majesty's certain revenue in 
what now is paid. and whatsoever it will do more. This planta- 
tion will intermix the British nation with the natives, which will 
bring in civility by divers ways and means ; it will procure the 
natives to become laborious, who are apt to labour by the good 
example of others, when they may have hire and reward for 
the same ; but the Irish lords and gentry do never give the 
poor people anything for their labour, which doth so dispose 
them to idleness. It will bring in trade and commerce, the 
English language, apparel, customs, and manners. It will 
beget inclosures, and laying their land into severals which now 
lies as in common. This will be a great means to banish and 
suppress night thieves and stealers of cattle. It will beget 
good, perfect, and plenty of guides in the Irish countries of the 
British nation, the want whereof, in the late rebellions, were a 
great means of the long continuance of the wars. ... It will 
so intermix the British nation with the natives as the natives 


shall not be able hereafter to contrive any rebellions as here- 
tofore they have done, but that the State will have timely 
advertisement of the same to prevent or meet with the incon- 
veniency. ... It will improve generally the lands of the whole 
province, and by the well and orderly laying out of the natives' 
lands round and entire together, the loss of the fourth part will 
be equally recompensed, and will not be unwelcome to most 
of the natives who are men of any judgment and sensible of 
reason, and have taken special notice of the convenient and 
orderly living of the freeholders in those countries where the 
plantations have run already." l 

The view taken in these papers was the same as that taken by 

every Englishman who had visited Ireland. Accustomed to a 

life passed in busy activity, and thrown upon his own 

English j r i_- ir j i r -i 

view of Irish resources to provide for himself and his family under 
the discipline of enforced submission to the authority 
of a Government in the lower functions of which he himself 
shared, and against the encroachment of which he was to a 
great extent protected by the law, the Englishman was unable 
to understand that even this rude poverty-stricken Irish life 
might have its charms for men whose training had been different 
from his own. He could not comprehend how what seemed 
to him to be a slavish submission to the caprices of the chief 
might find its compensation in the kindly intercourse of good- 
fellowship which sprang up from the acknowledgment of a 
common kinship between the chief and his tribe ; or how the 
lack of the sentiment of individual ownership of land might be 
made up by the sense of joint ownership in the whole of the 
territory of the tribe. For even the most learned Englishman 
in those days had never thought of studying the ways and habits 
of less civilised nations, except as objects of amusement or 
derision. The lesson that it is only with tottering steps and 
slow progress that a people can walk forward on the path of 
civilisation had yet to be revealed. 

In the mistake of under-estimating the amount of resistance 
which the Irish were likely to offer to his well-meant efforts to 

1 The benefits which will arise from the plantation, S. /'. Ireland, 
Bundle 281. 


drag them forward for their good, as a foolish nurse drags for- 
ward the child committed to her care, Wentworth 

State of the . /- t -KT 

English was no wiser than the mass of his countrymen. Nor 
did he take into his calculation the repellent effect of 
the sudden introduction amongst the native population of a 
number of rough Englishmen, greedy of gain and contemptu- 
ously disregardful of the feelings of a people whom they looked 
upon as barbarous, and whose very language they were unable 
to comprehend. 

Even in Ulster, after a settlement of more than twenty years, 

colonisation had not smoothed away all difficulties. In January 

January. an d February the municipal authorities of the City 

The London- o f London, to the principal companies of which the 

derry settle- ' t r- r 

ment. county of Londonderry had been granted, appeared 

before the Star Chamber to answer to a charge of having broken 

February, their charter. That charter had imposed conditions 

Forfeiture of upon them which they had undoubtedly failed to 

the London l J 

charter. fulfil. They had been expected to build more houses 
than they had built, to send over more English settlers than 
they had sent, and, above all, to exclude the Irish natives from 
holding land except in certain specified districts. It appeared 
that in many parts of the county the natives outnumbered the 
colonists in a very large proportion ; that, instead of being con- 
verted to Protestantism, these natives remained constant to 
their own religion, and supported a large number of priests who 
confirmed them in their resolution to set the English clergy at 
defiance. The Star Chamber held that the charge was fully 
proved, and condemned the City to a fine of 7o,ooo/., and to 
the forfeiture of the land. It is not unlikely that a body of 
London citizens may have been somewhat remiss in directing 
the arrangements of a settlement in the north of Ireland ; but 
it was hard measure to hold them responsible for the failure. 
It was not their fault if English colonists would not 

Condition of . . . . , . 

the Ulster emigrate in such numbers as was desirable ; and if 

setilement. .1 , 11 ^ /> _i i-> i- i 

the new proprietors could not find Englishmen to 
rent their farms, it was more than was to be expected from 
human nature to ask them to keep their lands out of cultivation 
rather than let them to the Irish. Nor wab the temptation to 


admit Irish tenants, even when an English applicant presented 
himself, easy to withstand. An Irishman, as it was stated upon 
evidence at the trial, was always ready to offer a larger sum 
than an Englishman would consent to pay. It is possible that 
this unexpected result may have been owing in part to the 
strong desire of the natives to remain attached to the soil which 
they regarded as their own. Another reason, however, suggests 
itself, which goes far to explain the difficulties of the task which 
the Deputy had undertaken. The Irish of Ulster fully believed 
that the day was at hand when the O'Neill and the O'Donnell 
would return, and when their dispossessed tribesmen would 
enter into the possession of the well-tilled lands and the newly 
erected habitations of the English intruders. If this belief 
were shared by the settlers, it is easy to understand that few 
would be ready to pay a large rent for a farm in a new and 
unknown land in which he ran a good chance of having his 
throat cut one morning by his Celtic neighbours. On the 
other hand, an Irishman would be inclined to offer something 
more than the fair market price in order that he might be in 
actual possession of a portion of the soil when the day of libera- 
tion came. 1 

It would be some time before the citizens of London learned 
whether the fine imposed upon them was to be exacted. In 
the end, after the expiration of four years, they received a 
pardon on surrendering their Irish estates and the payment of 
i2,oooZ., which Charles wanted to give as a present to the 
Queen. Wentworth, who seems to have taken no very great 
interest in the investigation conducted in England, was never- 
theless ready, after sentence had been given, to turn the occasion 
to the best profit for the King. The lesson of the Ulster diffi- 
culties, however, had no effect in causing him any hesitation in 

his resolution to treat Connaught as Ulster had been 
Wentworth treated by James. In July he proceeded westward with 
vCifcon- the intention of finding a title for the Kingin other 

words, of persuading or compelling the Connaught 
juries to acknowledge that the soil of the province belonged to 

' Notes of the proceedings in the Star Chamber, Jan. and Feb. 1635, 
S. P. Ireland. 


the Crown for some reason intelligible only to the English 
lawyers, in spite of the solemn promise of the King that he 
would take no advantage of any such technicality. 

Wentworth had no conception that it was possible for the 
Irish to resist excepting from interest or spite. He took his 
Selects the measures accordingly. He did not, indeed, as he 
jun. might have done if his conscience had convicted 

him of wrongdoing, order the selection of juries composed of 
dependents of the Government. He ordered, on the contrary, 
that 'gentlemen of the best estates and understanding should be 
returned.' If the verdict of such persons was as he wished it 
to be, it would carry weight with it amongst their neighbours. 
If it was otherwise, they would be wealthy enough to 'answer 
the King a good round sum in the Castle Chamber.' 

The Deputy's first attempt was made in Roscommon. He 
sent for half a dozen of the principal gentry, spoke them fairly, 
June 9. and assured them' that, though the King had a clear 
^n C Ros Wth an< ^ undoubted title to the whole of Connaught, he was 
common. ready to hear any argument which might be urged to 
bar his rights. The next day, after the case had been argued by 
the lawyers, Wentworth addressed the jury. He told 
them that his Majesty had been moved in the first place 
by his desire to make them ' a civil and rich people, which ' 
could ' not by any so sure and ready means be attained as by 
a plantation. . . . Yet that should be so done as not to take 
anything from them that was justly theirs, but in truth to 
bestow amongst them a good part of that which was his own.' 
fie had no need to ask them for a verdict at all. The King's 
right was so plain that a simple order of the Court of Exchequer 
would have been sufficient to give him all he claimed. His 
Majesty was, however, graciously pleased to take his people 
along with him, and to give them a part of the honour and 
profit of so glorious a work. Wentworth concluded with the 
strongest possible hint, that if they ventured to refuse to ac- 
knowledge the King's title, they would do so at their peril. 

This mixture of cajolery and firmness bore down opposition 
in Roscommon. The jury returned a verdict for the King, 
and in Sligo and Mayo the same result was obtained The 


Galway jury at Portumna gave the Deputy more difficulty. 
He succeeds Wentworth was there in the territory of the De Burghs. 
mon, sCo", The head of the family, the Earl of St. Albans 
and Mayo. an( j Q anr j ca rde, had stood by Elizabeth when all 

1 he Earl of .... . 

cianricarde. Ireland was seething with rebellion. Ever since he 
had loyally kept his country in obedience to the Crown, but it 
was with the loyalty of a tributary king to his suzerain rather 
than with the fidelity of a subject. He had himself lived of 
late years in England, but his chief kinsmen exercised authority 
and dispensed justice in his name in Galway. Though sprung 
from the Norman invaders, the De Burghs had long been Irish 
in habits and religion, and they naturally looked askance on 
Wentworth's desire to establish the domination of Protestantism 
and of the English law on a soil so peculiarly their own. To 

the Deputy's surprise the jury boldly found against 
Resistance the King. His anger knew no bounds. He fined 
m Galway. ^ g^gj-jfl- I)OOO /. f or returning a packed jury, and 
directed that the jurymen themselves should appear in the 

Castle Chamber to answer for their fault He further 
caikofiT directed that steps should be taken to procure an 

order from the Court of Exchequer which would set 
the verdict aside, and that troops should be sent to Galway to 
make resistance impossible. 1 

Wentworth's own explanation of these proceedings was that 
the verdict given did not express the real sentiments of the 
Wentworth's jurors. It had been dictated to them by the Earl's 
explanation. ne p new an( j steward. It was no mere question of truth 
or falsehood. It was simply a question of loyalty to the Earl or 
loyalty to the King. Now therefore was the time to break the 
authority of this powerful chieftain. A fair opportunity was offered 
of securing the county ' by fully lining and planting it with 
English.' To do this it would be necessary to take from the pre- 
tended owners of land more than the fourth part, of which, by 
the rules of a plantation, those of the other three counties were to 
be deprived. His Majesty was 'justly provoked so to do, and 
likely to put a difference between them who force him to under- 

1 Wentworth to Coke, July 4, 1635, Stratford Letters, i. 442. 

1 635 THE GALWAY JURY. 63 

take a suit at law for his own, and his other subjects who readily 
acknowledge his right.' l 

The chief lesson of Wentworth's history is missed by those 

who regard him as an oppressor and a tyrant beating resistance 

down before him in order to give free scope to his 

Character of . . ... -. ..... 

histreatment own arbitrary will. In truth the type of his mind 
|ury< was that of the revolutionary idealist who sweeps 
aside all institutions which lie in his path, and who defies the 
sluggishness of men and the very forces of human nature, in 
order that he may realise those conceptions which he believes 
to be for the benefit of all. The real objection to Wentworth's 
dealing with the Galway jury was, not that he respected it too 
little, but that he made use of it at all to attain an object which 
those who composed it regarded as unjust. He tried at one 
and the same time to reap the advantages of autocratic despot- 
ism and of legal government. The result was far worse than if 
he had interfered authoritatively with the strong hand of power. 
By consulting the jury and refusing to be bound by its verdict, 
he sowed broadcast the seeds of distrust and disaffection. He 
had bowed in semblance before the majesty of the law, only to 
turn upon it in anger when it ceased to do his pleasure. The 
King's authority would be associated more than ever in the 
eyes of Irishmen with unintelligible, incalculable violence. It 
was a force to be bound by no engagements, and acting by no 
rules which they were able to understand. 

In the end, however, Wentworth's policy would stand or 
fall by the measure which he dealt out, not to the kinsmen and 
followers of Clanrickard, but to the mass of the population of 
the county. It is useless to deny that his intention was to 
benefit them. But here too there was a mixture of force and 
fraud which ruined what might have been the success of either. 
He wanted the Irish to be more orderly and industrious, more 
rational in religion and politics, higher in the scale of civilised 
beings in every way. Yet his own conduct was not such as he 
could fairly ask them to imitate. They knew that he proposed to 
deluge their land with English colonists, who would regard them 

1 Wentworth and the Commissioners to Coke, Aug. 25, 1635, Str<tf. 
ford Letters, i. 450. 


with contempt, and who were only to be brought so far from 
home in order that they might keep them in awe, as the gaoler 
keeps his prisoners. They knew that he treated with contempt 
the religion to which they clung and the old ancestral reverence 
with which their chiefs inspired them. To Wentworth the 
relation which bound them to their chiefs was one of mere 
tyranny on one side and servitude on the other. He did not 
see, what the poorest Irish cotter saw, that that system which 
seemed to favour none but idle swordsmen and profligate 
cosherers, kept up in the hearts of the Celtic people the belief 
in the old principle which still survived as part of the old in- 
heritance of the race that the soil belonged not to this man or 
to that, but to the tribe which dwelt upon it What did they 
know of the arguments of the Dublin lawyers, based upon 
technicalities which were but the froth and scum of an alien 
system of law. What were the flaws to be found in the grants 
of Plantagenet kings, or contrived by the roguery of Dublin 
officials, to them? They held that the land was theirs, and 
that it was not to be portioned out to any intruder who might 
come in by the good favour of a foreign ruler. 

It does not follow that Wentworth was not right in pro- 
claiming that the time had come when the system of tribal 

ownership must give way to the system of individual 
from Gal- ownership. His mistake was that he did not even try 

to take along with him those who were most interested 
in the change. "If,"' said the inhabitants of Galway in a petition 
to the King, " pretension of manuring and bettering the country 
be the ground of plantation, if his Majesty be so pleased, they 
will undertake to effect such performances as any other planters 
would have done, the rather that they will make it appear how 
the country, though now in a good state, would be shortly 
much improved if the fear of plantations and other threatenings 
had not hindered them." Doubtless there were risks on this 
side, too, and it would require some pressure to obtain the fulfil- 
ment of these promises when the fear of danger was withdrawn. 
It would need the maintenance of a powerful army and the 
exertion of active diligence to see that the change was really 
effected ; but there would have been the immense advantage of 


making it clear in the eyes of the Irish population that the 
English Government was on their side, and that it was in favour 
of the poor and oppressed Irishman, not in favour of the 
English adventurer, that its strong arm was ready to intervene. 
Above all, Wentworth would at last have had a case which 
would enable him to appeal to the sense of justice of those 
whom he governed. To say that the King's promises to the 
Connaught landowners were conditional upon the performance 
by those landowners of the duties which they owed to iheir own 
followers would have offended no man but those landowners 
themselves. To seize the lands of rich and poor, upon what 
every man knew to be a mere pretext, in order to build up 
upon the ruins a new society, the very foundations of which 
had yet to be laid, was to offend against the universal sense 
of right. There are times when institutions become worthless, 
when Parliaments and juries are mere cloaks for misgovern- 
ment and oppression. But behind Parliaments and juries lies 
the indestructible tenacity with which every population clings 
to the habits of life which it has inherited. Wentworth, for 
a time at least, might have set aside the institutions which 
were intended to be the organs of the population if he had 
reverenced the population itself, s In hurrying on social changes 
which approved themselves to few excepting to himself, he 
courted disaster. He was building a house upon the sand. 
The flood would soon rise which was to sweep it away. 

Wentworth failed where he believed himself to be strongest. 
At the bottom his life's work was contention, not so much for 
the Royal authority as for the supremacy of intellect. Yet it 
was his own intellectual conception of the Irish problem which 
had proved defective. " The voice of the people," as the first 
Parliament of James had declared, " is, in things of their know- 
ledge, as the voice of God." If Wentworth saw things to which 
the Irish people were blind, they too, in their turn, saw things 
to which he was blind, with all his wisdom. There is no security 
that the wisest statesmen will not pursue a phantom of his own 
imagination. There is no security that popular feeling will not 
rush headlong into impatient and ignorant action. But the 
statesman guards himself best against the errors incident to his 



calling who keeps his ear open to the indications of popular 
feeling which it is his duty to guide, as the people guard them- 
selves best against the errors incident to their position when 
they keep their ear open to the words of experience and intel- 
ligence which it is their safety to follow. It was Wentworth's 
fault that he attempted to drive and not to lead, that he 
offended deeply that moral sense of the Irish community in 
cherishing which far more than in the importation of hundreds 
of English soldiers or thousands of English colonists lay the 
truest hope of the progress of Ireland in civilisation and in all 
things else. 




To no man did Wentworth pour out his troubles and his difficul- 
ties as he did to Laud. The mind of the Deputy indeed was cast 

in a nobler mould than the mind of the Archbishop. 
Wentworth He was less regardful of trivialities, and more bent 
and Laud. U p On attaining the higher aims of a statesman's life. 
In the main, however, the characters of the two men were formed 
upon the same lines. Both trusted to the influence of external 
discipline upon the minds of the people. Both were unwilling 
to admit that the ruler who had formed his own idea of right 
ought to be turned aside by the desire of complying with the 
wishes of the governed. Both were beyond measure energetic, 
and unsparing of themselves in the service of that master 
whose interests they believed to be identical with the interests of 
the State. Both were advocates of that which in the jargon of 
their confidential correspondence they called Thorough ' 

of the resolute determination of going through 
roug ' with it, as it might nowadays be expressed, of dis- 
regarding and overriding the interested delays and evasions of 
those who made the public service an excuse for enriching 
themselves at the public expense, or the dry technical argu- 
ments of the lawyers which would hinder the accomplishment 
of schemes for the public good. 

It was a noble ambition by which these men were possessed, 
an ambition which was, however, none the less likely to overleap 
itself because it was not stained with personal selfishness or 
greed. It forgot that the desire to do good is not always an 

1 ' Thorough ' and ' through ' are the same words, and in the I7th cen- 
tury were spelt in the same way. 

F 2 


assurance of wisdom that even the quirks of ignorant lawyers 
or the stupidity of an ignorant mob may be a useful safeguard 
against the hasty and thoughtless actions of men who believe 
themselves to be wise. 

In the spring of 1635, however, Wentworth and Laud 
seemed to be carrying all before them. They were able to re- 
joice together over the removal of the man who was the im- 
personation of inactivity and selfishness. Portland, the cause, 
they thought, of all that was amiss, the Lady Mora of their cor- 
respondence, ' was dead. Month by month Laud had watched 
his irregularities, had dragged them to light before the King, 
and had been startled to find that Charles clung to his old 
minister in spite of all that could be said against him. 

Laud fondly hoped that the system which Portland had 
established would come to an end with his life. When Edward 
Conversa- Hyde, the young lawyer who was one day to become 
I'audtnT" Earl of Clarendon, came to him to tell how the late 
Hyde. Treasurer had thrown obstacles in the way of the 

merchants of London, with the sole object of benefiting a 
dependent by the obstruction, Laud replied that he knew 
nothing of such matters, but that as the King had, contrary to 
his desire, made him one of the Commissioners of the 
Treasury, ' he intended to spare no pains to enable himself to 
serve his master.' l 

The appointment of the Treasury Commission was only a 
temporary expedient. Amongst those who were regarded as 
wen 'onh k'kely to be ultimately selected as Portland's successor, 
aud cotting- Wentworth and Cottington were the most promi- 

ton named , . i i 11 i 11. 

tor theTrea- nent, and it was believed that, on the whole, the King 
inclined to Wentworth. 2 It is useless to speculate 
whether, if the Lord Deputy had at this time transferred his 
services to England, he would have accelerated the outburst of 
resistance by his arrogant defiance of the popular will, or would 
have postponed it by the skilfulness of his repressive measures. 
For the present, however, it was impossible to recall him from 
Ireland. When Portland died in March, the Irish Parliament 

1 Clarendon's Life, i. 22. 

2 Correr to the Dot^e, March T -^-^, Ven. MSS. 

33, 30' 


was still sitting, and Connaught was still unvisited. Partly in 
the hope that Wentworth's services might still be available 
in England, partly in order that a thorough and impartial in- 
vestigation might be conducted into the financial position of 
his government, partly too from the natural irresolution of his 
character, Charles postponed the selection of a Lord Treasurer 
for some months to come. 

At the Treasury Commission Laud was the representative 
of Wentworth's ideas less skilful indeed, and far less likely to 

seize the true point at issue in a complicated ques- 
cotcington tion, but to the full as pertinacious and as resolute 
Treasury to set the service of the King above all other con^ 

siderations. Both here and at the Committee for 
Foreign Affairs, he found himself opposed by Cottington, whose 
faults and merits alike were in glaring contrast with the faults and 
merits of the Archbishop. When Laud willed anything he willed 
it with all the fixity of purpose of an earnest if narrow mind. He 
was utterly ignorant of the ways of the world, and, as he had 
told Hyde, he had no acquaintance with the special business 
of the Treasury. His moral indignation against the carelessness 
and the worse than carelessness of officials filled the sails of his 
purpose, and he drove straight to the mark before him, reckless 
what offence he gave or what difficulties he laid up in store for the 
future. For himself he had no private ends in view, no desire 
of pelf or vainglory, no family to provide for or state to keep 
up. Cottington, on the other hand, was swayed neither by zeal 
for the public good nor by scrupulous regard for justice. He 
would be content if only, whatever happened, the barque of 
his fortunes remained floating on the tide. Never at a loss for 
a courteous word to those who sought his favour, he was never 
known to do a kind action which entailed loss upon himself. 
If there was anything which he really respected it was the Church 
of Rome and the Spanish monarchy. Yet the representatives of 
the Church of Rome and of the Spanish monarchy did not cease 
to complain that they could never be sure whether he was in 
earnest or not, or to express a belief that in all probability he 
meant to trick them in the end. He had a superficial know- 
ledge of most things, without knowing anything thoroughly. 


As Chancellor of the Exchequer, however, he had acquired a 
close acquaintance with the details of financial business, which, 
together with his perfect command over his own temper, gave 
him an enormous advantage over his irritable rival. Nothing 
pleased him so much as when he could contrive, by gravely 
defending some untenable proposition, to excite the anger 
of the irascible Archbishop, in order quietly to turn the 
laugh against him in the end. Nor was the conflict between 
the two men so entirely unequal as the difference between 
their moral natures would seem to show. Laud brought 
with him to the Treasury the same errors which were the 
cause of his misgovernment of the Church. Just as out- 
ward form and ceremony was to him not merely the sign but 
the very source of Christian unity, so he never got beyond 
the idea that to gather money into the Treasury was the sign 
and source of the political strength of a financier. It was 
enough if material wealth were at his command, and he never 
stopped to ask whether the moral forces upon which the con- 
stant supply of wealth ultimately depended were also on nis 
side. Cottington was very far from seeing the root of the evil, 
but he had tact enough to know that even a surplus might be 
dearly bought at the cost of exasperating the nation. 

Cottington was the more to be dreaded as an antagonist as 
he had lately received a. special mark of the King's favour. 
Sir Robert Naunton, Master of the Court of Wards, 
was old and in ill-health, and Cottington was selected 
by the King as his successor. The Earl of Salisbury, it is true, 
had received a promise of the reversion of the place, but Salis- 
bury was notoriously incompetent to fulfil the duties of any 
office calling for the exercise of the most ordinary ability, and a 
letter drawn up by Cottington himself informed him that though 
his Majesty would not forget him, he would not make him 
Master of the Wards. 1 It was more difficult to deal with 
Naunton himself. Hi as he was, he was hopeful of recovery, 
and he would not hear of retiring. It was only by the direct 
intervention of the King, accompanied by general promises of 
favour, that he was at last induced to surrender his office. A 

1 Cottington and Windebank to Salisbury, Feb. (?), S. /'. Dom. 
cclxxxii no. 


few days later the poor man was petitioning for a pension 
granted him by the late King, which had remained unpaid for 
March 16. years. He died almost immediately after the petition 
M^siefof" had been penned. 1 Cottington had some days before 
the Wards, taken possession of his office, which became in his 
hands more profitable to the Crown than his predecessor had 
made it. 

It was not long before Laud began to doubt whether much 
had been gained by Portland's death. In all his efforts to 
obtain a thorough investigation of the finances he was met by 
difficulties moved by Cottington. At last the quarrel came 
The soap t a head over an arrangement which had been made 
monopoly, by the late Lord Treasurer for improving the manu- 
facture of soap, and for filling, at the same time, the pockets of 
his friends. 

The origin of the soap monopoly which came in the end to 
stir up the ill-feeling of the people against the Government and 
l63 ,. to set rival ministers by the ears was a humble one. 
F\r e JSlp r ' Certain persons had obtained a patent in the preced- 
patent. j n g re ign for the manufacture of soap by a new pro- 
cess, from materials produced within the King's dominions. 
This grant was confirmed in December 1631 by a patent in 
which the Monopoly Act was distinctly appealed to in words 
which show the anxiety of those who drew it up to keep within 
the limits of that statute. 2 

So far nothing illegal had been done. It is, however, prover- 
bially difficult to draw an Act of Parliament so as to secure it 

l632 completely against evasion, and the Monopoly Act 
The"soa proved no exception to the rule. The legislature had 
Company, distinctly excluded corporations from the incidence of 
the Act, and as it was a legal maxim that the King could found 
corporations for the benefit of trade, it was in the King's power 
to create as many monopolies as he pleased by placing the 
sole right of manufacture in the hands of a corporation instead 
of conferring it upon an individual. Nor were the King's 
powers exhausted here. He claimed a general right of super- 

1 Petition, S. P. Dom. cclxxxv. 74. 

Grant to Jones and others, Dec. 17, 1631. Pat. 7 Charlts Z 
Part 10. 


vision over trade for the benefit of the community, which, if he 
chose to make use of it, would entitle him, in the eyes of the 
prerogative lawyers, to interfere with commercial transactions 
in every possible way. In the exercise of these powers, Charles, 
early in 1632, erected a company of soap-makers to buy up the 
rights of the patentees. The company engaged to produce by 
the new methods 5,000 tons of soap a year, and to pay into the 
Exchequer 4/. for every ton sold by them, which upon the 
quantity named would bring in 20,000!. a year. They engaged 
to retail the soap at the low price of 3^. a pound. The King 
was, on his part, to prohibit the export of tallow and potash, in 
order that the materials of the manufacture might be attainable 
itisautho- at a cnea P rate. No monopoly was granted to the 
rised to test company, excepting for the new invention which they 
manufac- had secured, but they were empowered to test all soap 
made by independent persons, and to prohibit its 
sale unless it had been marked by them as sweet and good. 1 

The last provision was as impolitic as it was oppressive. 
By it the independent soap-makers were subject to a test im- 
Oppressive posed not by an impartial official, but by the very men 

this Ure r f wno were ^eir rivals in trade, and who had every 
mission. interest in pronouncing their productions to be de- 
ficient in quality. The suspicions to which the grant of powers 
so enormous naturally gave rise were strengthened when it was 
known that the greater number of the members of the new 
company were selected from the clique of Roman Catholics 
who had attached themselves to Portland, and who were find- 
ing so many opportunities of enriching themselves through his 

Whilst the minds of those who were engaged in the soap 

trade were still in a state of excitement, a proclamation ap- 

peared forbidding the use of any oil other than olive 

or rape oil in the manufacture. The employment of 

fish oil, which had been much used for many years, was thus 

prohibited, on the ground that soap so made was bad. 2 

1 Erection of the Corporation, Jan. 20. Indenture, May 3, 1632, 
fat. 7 Charles /., Part 12. 8 Charles /., Part 5. 

2 Proclamation, June 28, Kymer. xix. 383. 


The soap-makers protested in vain. They retorted that 

the Company's soap was as bad as theirs was good, and they 

, 633 . found many believers. The question between the 

(^th^oap- Company and the soap-makers rapidly assumed the 

makers. dignity of an affair of state. The Council charged 

the soap-makers with suborning persons to spread false rumours 

to the disparagement of the Company's soap, and ordered the 

Attorney- General to commence a prosecution in the 


Star- Star Chamber of some of their number who persisted 

protection in carrying on the manufacture without submitting 
ordered. tQ ^ Company's test. In order to meet the rumour 
by other means than prosecution, the Council directed that the 
new soap should be submitted to an impartial tribunal The 
Dec. e. Lord Mayor, the Lieutenant of the Tower, together 
i^qu? con- w ^h sun dry aldermen and men of note, were formed 
siituted. i n t o a court of inquiry. 1 When the court assembled} 
two washerwomen were introduced, to one of whom was handed 
a piece of the Company's soap, whilst the other was supplied 
with soap procured elsewhere. Tubs were brought in and a 
bundle of dirty clothes. . When each washerwoman had done 
her best, the court pronounced that the clothes washed with 
the Company's soap ' were as white and sweeter than ' those 
which had been operated on by the production of the indepen- 
dent manufacturers. To add weight to this decision a declara- 
tion in its support from more than eighty persons of various 
ranks, peeresses and laundresses being included, was circulated 
with it, and to this was appended a statement that the opinions 
said to have been given against the soap were not really the 
opinions of those to whom they had been attributed, or else 
that they had been ' procured by persons who had no experience 
in the said soap.' 

1634. Soon after this report had been received, the 

TteCouncii ^wy Council wrote to the justices of the peace in 
offhe'new 56 commendation of the virtues of the authorised soap, 
wap. its recommendations were received with a smile of 

incredulity. It seemed so probable that the Council cared more 

' Orders of Council, Dec. 6, 1633, Jan. 29, 1634. The Council to the 
Justices, Feb., S. P. Dom. cclii. 21, ccliv. 34, cc!x. 119. 


about their rent of 2o,ooo/. a year than about the excellence of 
the manufactured article. When the agents of the Company 
visited private works in order to seize untested soap, the owners 
September. were ^le to raise a mob against them. The agents 
Soap Hots, complained that their clothes were torn and their lives 
in danger. The Company called upon the Council to come to 
its assistance with that protection without which it would be 
ruined. Unpopular as monopolists, the members of the Soap 
Company were additionally unpopular as being for the most part 
Catholics, and it was even believed in well-informed quarters that 
much of the money invested had been raised by the Jesuits. The 
new soap was known in the streets as the Popish soap. It was 
hard to drive a successful trade in the face of such obstacles. 1 

Like the patentees of gold and silver thread fourteen years 
before, the Company was now in difficulties through the im- 
Sept.2 7 . possibility of securing itself against competition. 
Com' S n P in It had incurred considerable expense in establishing 
difficulties. jt s business, and it had been unable to make the 
promised payments to the Crown. Its charter was thus forfeited 
by the non-fulfilment of its conditions. Yet the Council con- 
tinued to take its part, and ordered the arrest of offenders 
against its regulations. 2 

Such was the position of affairs when Portland died. The 
Company had been so entirely his creation, that the indepen- 
l6ss- dent soap-makers saw in his death the signal for their 
inde r endent e triumph. They came forward with the most lavish 
soap-makers. o ff ers . If only they were formed into a corporation 
in the place of their rivals, they were ready to pay 8/. a ton into 
the Exchequer, instead of the 4/. which the Company had offered. 

1 " E pur troppo vero che qualcuni, per non dir molti, in particolare 
Gesuiti e BenedeUini, hanno mutato il negotio delle anime in quello delle 
borse ; et in particolare si dice del detto Basilic," i.e. Sir Basil Brooke, 
"et suo compagno, che con danari de' Gesuiti sia entrato in un traffico 
d' un nuovo sapone, il quale, perche a questa plebe non piace e conosce 
1'autore, lo c'mama sapone papistico. " Panzani's letter, ^~, 1635, R. O. 

1 Petition of the Company, Sept. 29. Order in Council, Sept. 29, 
S. P. Dom. cclxxiv. 52, 53. 


The share of the King in the proceeds of the manufacture would 
thus have been raised, uj)on the estimated rate of 5,000 tons 
yearly, from 2o,ooo/. to 4o,ooo/. a year. 1 

Laud took their part. He was doubtless content, like the 
rest of his contemporaries, to believe that it was a good act to 
encourage the manufacture of soap made out of English ma- 
terials in the place of the manufacture of soap made out of 
foreign materials ; but he thought that if this principle could be 
maintained, it would be better to entrust the work to persons 
practically acquainted with the business, than to a body of gen- 
tlemen whose only qualification was the possession of Court 
favour. Cottington, however, thought otherwise. The friends 
of Portland were in the main his friends, and he fought hard 
against Laud at every stage of the discussion. Laud, 
Contention indeed, unintentionally placed arms in his opponent's 
Laud and hands. Instead of advocating the cause of his clients 
.tmgton. on t ^ e g roun( j U p on which they were strong, he sup- 
ported them on the ground on which they were weak. If it was 
wrong to levy 2o,ooo/. a year from the existing Company, it was 
still more wrong to levy 40,ooo/. from their rivals. If the price 
at which the soap was sold could not bear the burden, the 
sellers would be ruined. If it could bear the burden, a new 
form of indirect taxation would be imposed by the royal pre- 
rogative. It may easily be understood that neither Laud nor 
Cottington cared to enter upon the question involved in this 
last consideration. On the simple ground that 4o,ooo/. would 
be better for the Exchequer than half that sum, Laud beat 
Cottington from point to point. But he bitterly complained 
that Cottington had always an argument in reserve : ' when 
all holes are stopped, then the King could not do it in 
honour, and God knows what.' On Laud's own showing, 
Cottington was plainly in the right. Unless the charter were 
attacked on higher grounds, it was not for the King's honour 
that a compact deliberately entered into should be annulled 
simply because others offered to pay a larger sum into the Ex- 
chequer. In the end the Company's rights were continued on 
the understanding that they would advance io,ooo/. for the 
1 Laud to Wentworth. June 12, Laud's Works, vii. 138. 


King's immediate necessities, to be deducted from their future 
July. payments. 1 The payments were to be 3o,ooo/. for 
pan eC coin- tne next two years, and 40,000^. afterwards. 2 Laud 
tinued. had therefore gained his point with respect to the 
money, whilst Cottington had his way about the persons. The 
independent manufacturers paid the penalty. They were de- 
livered over to fine and imprisonment in the Star Chamber 
whenever they ventured to make soap without submitting their 
articles to the inspection of the Company's searchers. 

Laud's anger, when once it was aroused by any suspicion of 

.slackness in the service of the King, was not easily allayed. 

He was convinced that the Company would never 

Laud's , , .. , ,,,, 

quarrel with pay the money, whilst he was equally convinced that 
there would be no difficulty in obtaining it from his 
own favourites. All who had taken Cottington's part in the 
business were included in his displeasure. The desertion of his 
old friend Windebank vexed him greatly, so greatly that he 
broke off all ties of friendship with a man whom he had raised 
to the Secretaryship and who had now turned against him. It 
was very pitiable, but it was something more than a mere differ- 
erence of opinion which angered him. He had discovered that 
Portland had been bribed with 2,000!. by the Company, and he 
saw in Cottington the continuator of Portland's want of prin- 
ciple. He was disgusted with his disingenuousness, and with 
his disposition to shrink from going to the root of difficulties. To 
Wentworth he poured out his distress freely. If Portland had 
been the Lady Mora, Cottington was the Lady Mora's waiting- 
maid. All he wanted was to get the Treasurer's staff and to fill 
his own pockets, as Portland had done before him. 3 

The impulse which Laud's presence gave to the Treasury 
Energetic Board could not possibly remain without effect. 
Treasur^ the Old accounts were subjected to a thorough investi- 
<jommLssion. gation, new sources of revenue were opened up, and 
old claims refurbished for modern use. In Portland's time few 

1 Receipt Books, July 17. Hallam was mistaken in supposing this 
money was paid as a fine for the renewal of the charter. 

Garrard to Wentworth, July 30, Strafford Letters, i. 445. 
3 Laud to Wentworth, July 31, Lated's Works, vii. ic-.. 


new demands had been advanced. There was a good deal of 
peculation, but scarcely any taxation to which people were not 
already accustomed. The compositions for knighthood were 
universally acknowledged to be legally due to the King. Even 
the payment of ship-money by the port towns had given rise to 
no general objection. Scarcely was Portland in his grave when 
all this was changed. To fill the King's exchequer was the 
first thought with Laud and with those whom Laud was able to 

The forest claims were now vigorously pushed forward. On 
April 8, the blow at last fell upon the Essex landowners. The 
. Court which had adjourned in the preceding autumn 
Essex Forest was re-opened by Holland, and this time Finch ap- 
peared as an assessor on the Bench. Sentence was 
given for the Crown. All lands to the south of the road from 
Colchester to Bishop's Stortford were adjudged to be within 
the limits of the forest. Holland explained that, though he 
was bound to carry out the sentence of the Court, he would do 
what he could to mitigate its violence. 1 

Mitigated or not, the sentence delivered in Essex could not 
fail to propagate the belief that the King was determined to 
May- strain his technical rights in order that he might reap 
oiepopuia- a P ecun i ar y advantage. The issue of a Commission 
tion. on depopulations pointed in the^same direction. In 

the preceding October Sir Anthony Roper had been sentenced 
to a heavy fine in the Star Chamber for allowing fields which 
had once been cultivated to be desolate, and for ejecting the 
cultivators from their homes. The Commissioners were directed 
to inquire into similar cases, and to compound with the guilty 
upon payment of a fine. It looked as if there was more thought 
taken for the money to be paid for condoning the evil than for 
the redress of the evil itself. 2 

It was but another step in the same direction when Coventry 
announced that the King had resolved to give a further exten- 
sion to the writs of ship-money. On June 17 the Lord Keeper 

1 Abstract of Proceedings in the Statements on behalf of the Coinmls- 
sioners of Works, p. 37. Epping Forest Commission, 

2 Rush-worth, ii. 333. Commission, May 8, Pat. II Charles I. Part 5. 


addressed the judges according to custom before they left 
London for the summer assizes. The first part of his speech 
June 27. may be accepted as an exposition of Charles's sys- 
^ech'to' 5 tem of government in its ideal form. He spoke to 
the judges, the judges of the care which it behoved them to 
take to do equal justice between rich and poor, to guard against 
' the corruptions of sheriffs and their deputies, the partiality of 
jurors, the bearing and siding with men of countenance and 
power in their country,' to make ' strict inquiry after depopula- 
tions and inclosures, an oppression of a high nature and com- 
monly done by the greatest persons that keep the juries under 
and in awe, which was the cause there are no more presented 
and brought in question.' 

To maintain the right of the weak against the strong was, 
according to Coventry, the special glory of the Crown. The 
Oppression records of the Star Chamber, scanty as they are, show 
to be e n eak ^ ow 'H * ts act i n could be spared in this respect. Sir 
sisted. Francis Foljambe, for instance, laid claim to certain 
tithes. A verdict having been given against him, he ' being a 
person of great power in the country,' sent men upon the land, 
who, 'riotously beat the work-folks and carried away the corn.' 
Sir Henry Anderson, again, took offence against a person 
named Poole for refusing to sell him a rectory, threatened to 
set fire to his tenants' houses, picked a quarrel with him, and 
with the help of his servants gave him a sound beating. Another 
case was that of John Dunne, who ' at such time as Nathaniel 
Dunne was giving evidence against him at a quarter sessions 
upon an indictment for the King, did interrupt him, pinched 
him backward, and struck him with his hand, and thereby en- 
forced him to go away without giving evidence.' l Coventry's 
practical acquaintance with such facts as these might lead him 
to doubt the wisdom of placing uncontrolled supremacy in the 
hands of an assembly consisting mainly of country gentlemen. 

The time had now come when it would be necessary for 

the King to be more than the guardian of internal peace. At 

the moment at which the Lord Keeper was speaking the 

French and Dutch armies were laying siege to Louvain, after 

1 Jtus/Koorth, ii. App. 40, 53, 56. 


the sack of Tirlemont. Was England sufficiently protected 
Coventry against a similar attack? "Christendom," he said, 
?io a n w to a t"e n ~ " ' s fuU f wars > an( * there is nothing but rumours of 
danger of a warSi What hath been done of late years abroad 


attack. by fire and sword it were a pity and grief to think 
of, yet we have had the goodness of God and his Majesty's 
providence all this while, and have enjoyed a most happy peace 
and plenty. As it is a good precept in divinity, so it holdeth in 
polity too, jam proximus ardet, which if we observe to defend 
ourselves, it would be a warning to all nations, and we should 
be the more assured to enjoy our peace if the wars abroad do 
make us stand upon our guard at home. Therefore no question 
it hath ever been accustomed the greatest wisdom for a nation 
to arm that they may not be enforced to fight, which is better 
than not to arm and be sure to fight." 

Coventry next proceeded to speak of the fleet which was 
then at sea under Lindsey's command. Even Charles's extreme 
Explains the claim of the sovereignty 'of the seas was depicted 
sov'ereignty Dv ^ Lord Keeper as a purely defensive measure, 
of the seas. "The dominion of the sea," he said, "as it is an an- 
cient and undoubted right of the Crown of England, so it is 
the best security of the land. The wooden walls are the best 
walls of this kingdom." A manufacturing and commercial 
people would be courting ruin if the outlets of its trade were 
left at the mercy of foreign nations. His Majesty had found it 
absolutely necessary to increase the strength of his fleet in the 
coming year. Then followed the conclusion inevitably, as it 
June 17. might seem to Coventry. "Therefore," he said, 
uiatsh"p- es " u P on advice he hath resolved that he will forthwith 
m ne y ust send out new writs for the preparation of a greater 
ail. fleet the next year ; and that not only to the maritime 

towns, but to all the kingdom besides ; for since that all the 
kingdom is interested both in the honour, safety, and profit, it 
is just and reasonable that they should all put to their helping 
hands." 1 

There are moments in the life of men by which the whole 

1 Rushwotth, ii. 294. 


course of their future lives is sensibly affected. Looked back upon 
from ami-dst the gloom of a ruined career, they stand 
oftM^d"" out with awful distinctness against the background 
of a forgotten past. At the time, the step taken, or 
the opportunity lost, slipped by unnoticed. It was then but one 
in a chain of causes and effects, with nothing in it calling for 
special remark or demanding any careful or anxious considera- 
tion. So it was with these words of the Lord Keeper. All that 
he seemed to ask was that the charges necessary for the service 
of all should be borne by all. In our days no minister would 
dream of dealing with the question in any other spirit. No 
Chancellor of the Exchequer would venture to impose the 
charge of the navy upon Hampshire and Yorkshire whilst 
Derbyshire and Worcestershire went free. Coventry's argument 
that the protection of English commerce concerned the man 
who kept sheep on the Cotswolds or who sat at the loom at 
Leeds as much as the shipowner who sent the finished cloth 
across the sea, was unanswerable. 

Upon the further question of the right of the Crown to levy 
money which it was undeniably desirable to levy, Coventry was 
Coventry's entirely silent. It was most unlikely that others 
the n ri|hTto wou ld be equally silent. The old maxim of the 
levy. English constitution, that those things which were 

for the good of all must be provided by the common consent 
of all, would be certain to make itself heard once more. Even 
if Charles had meant no more than Coventry meant, if it had 
never entered into his head to employ in wanton or unwise 
aggression the fleet which he needed for defence, it could never 
have been safe to entrust a King with the permanent right of 
maintaining an armed force which he might employ in defiance 
of the express wishes of the nation. Then too there was the 
further question of the right of taxation. Chafes might attempt 
to explain his demand for money as a mere extension of his 
right to demand personal service from everyone. The common 
sense of Englishmen told them that it was not so. If money 
might be levied to-day under this pretext, it might be levied 
under some other pretext to-morrow. Englishmen would be 
taxed, not by their representatives in Parliament, but by the 


King and the Council. With the loss of control over taxa- 
tion all chance of controlling the political action of the Court 
would go at the same time. The nation might not always be 
wise in its desires or in the remedies to which it looked. It 
might cherish in its bosom men who would enlist its sympathies 
for selfish ends, or who would Use the positions which they 
occupied for the gratification of their avarice or their passions. 
Much that Coventry and Wentworth said of the evils of popular 
government was undeniably true. But the remedy which they 
proposed was worse than the disease. 

The extension of ship-money to the inland counties was 

not the only inroad upon the property of the subject made 

under the influence of the Treasury Commission. 

July 16. J 

increase of Portland had thought himself well off to be able 
to collect tonnage and poundage very much as it 
had been collected by his predecessors. There had been an 
additional impost upon tobacco, and an additional export duty 
upon coals, with the view of keeping that precious mineral from 
finding its way abroad. Besides these and a few other trifling 
exceptions, whatever increase of revenue derived from customs 
there was, was due to the growth of commerce and not to 
increase of taxation. 

The average ordinary revenue of the Crown, calculated on 
the five years ending in December 1635, was about 6i8,ooo/- 
Revenueof The same revenue in 1623 had been 570,0007., 
the Crown, showing, if allowance be made for the difference of 
form in which the accounts were rendered, an increase of 
no more than 48,ooo/. in eight years. Of this difference, only 
5,ooo/. is to be set down to the account of customs duties of 
various kinds, the remaining 43,ooo/. having been obtained from 
other sources, 15,0007. for instance, being set down to the Court 
of Wards, and 8,4oo/. being the amount of additional payments 
secured from recusants alone. The annual deficit 
on the ordinary account was i8,ooo/., the whole of 
the ordinary expenditure being calculated at 636,0007. 

If therefore the Soap Company fulfilled its promises, in 
spite of Laud's doubts, the ordinary expenditure would be 
more than covered. It does not follow that there would have 



been a real balance between revenue and expenditure. Be- 
sides the ordinary budget, there was a budget of ex- 
ordinary traordinary receipts and payments. During the ten 
years of Charles's reign which ended in the spring 
of 1635, the extraordinary payments had reached 2,847,5977., 
whilst the extraordinary receipts had reached only 2,596,3057., 
leaving a sum of 251,2927. to be covered by the constant 
anticipation of the revenue of future years. The extraordinary 
expenditure had been to a great extent caused by the expenses 
of the war at the beginning of the reign; but it was by no 
means limited to those expenses, and it is probable that an 
additional ioo,ooo/. at least would have been needed to pro- 
duce an actual balance of the revenue and expenditure. Be- 
sides this, the debt still requiring payment stood at 1,173,19s/. 1 
Such was the result of the thorough investigation into the 
financial state of the exchequer upon which Laud had insisted. 
Long before it was completed, the need of money 
Customs had driven the Treasury Commissioners to make 
fresh demands upon the nation. As in the case of 
ship-money, Coventry was employed to put the best possible 
face upon the business. On May 28 he had announced to the 
Privy Council that ' for the better balancing of trade in relation 
to the impositions in foreign parts upon the native commodities 
of this kingdom, it was advisable to draw up a new book of 
rates.' The new book of rates resulted in an augmentation of 
the duties levied estimated at no less than 7o,ooo/. 2 If Laud 
and his colleagues were to proceed in this fashion, it was certain 
that if Parliament ever met again in time of peace, the power 
of the purse would no longer be in the hands of the House of 

1 See the financial tables in the Appendix. Ranke's statement (Engl. 
tr. ii. 31) that the interest absorbed the greater portion of the revenue is 
in glaring contradiction with his own figures. On the forced loan, besides, 
no interest was paid, and some of the rest was in the same condition. 
Where interest was payable, it does not follow that it was paid. 

2 Council Register, May 18. Estimate of the revenue from customs, 
July 1 6, .9. P. Dom. ccxciii. 127. The whole revenue from customs is 
\here reckoned at 35O,ooo/., or more than half of the receipts. 


Would peace, however, be maintained ? The cloud which, 
whilst Coventry was speaking to the judges, overhung the 

Spanish Netherlands had passed away, and Charles 
comjlfica. was able complacently to inform Necolalde that his 

fleet had contributed, by its protection of Dunkirk, to 
so desirable a result. 1 But behind the question of the Nether- 
lands lay the question of the Palatinate, which Charles could 
The Paia- neither let alone nor take up effectively. The news 
tmate agam. o f t h e exclusion of his nephew from the benefit of 
the Peace of Prague touched him deeply, and his sister had 
been still more affected by it. Once more she appealed to 
him for active assistance. The treaty, she said, would open his 
eyes, and the eyes of all in England, ' if they be not shot out 
with pistols.' 2 In the Foreign Committee, however, pacific 
counsels prevailed, and in this respect Laud was likely to meet 
with no opposition from Cottington or Windebank, upon whom 
the conduct of the secret negotiations with Spain now ex- 
clusively devolved. The young Elector would complete his 
eighteenth year in the winter, and it was thought right in 
England that, before taking up arms, he should make a formal 
offer of his submission to the Emperor, and should demand in 
return to be invested with his father's lands and dignities, in 
order that no prejudice might follow the neglect of such legal 
formalities. Charles thus found an excuse for reconciling 
the duty of aiding his nephew with his desire to do nothing at 
all. In vain his wife painted in brilliant colours the advantages 
of an alliance with France. In his letters to his sister he 
explained that it was better for him not to avail himself of the 
overtures of the French too soon. By delaying a little he 
might force them ' to unmask and deal plainly upon more equal 
terms.' It was at last arranged that Lord Aston the Sir 
Walter Aston of James's reign should go as ambassador to 
Madrid, and that John Taylor, half a Spaniard himself by birth, 

i Necolalde to Onate, ^4o' S. P. Spain. 
1 Elizabeth to Roe, July 2, S. P. Dom. ccxciii. 14. 
G 2 


should be despatched to Vienna, to feel his way with the 
Emperor before a formal embassy was sent. l 

When the first writ of ship-money was issued, the intention 

of Charles was to use his fleet against the Dutch in alliance 

with Spain. Now that the second writ, with its far 

What was . , . . . _ ,. , 

Charles's larger demands upon the patience of Englishmen, 
was preparing for issue, he had no decided policy of 
any kind. He was equally ready to employ his fleet against 
France in alliance with Spain, or to employ it against Spain in 
alliance with France. Whether he was to take one side or the 
other was to depend not on any consideration affecting the 
interests of England, still less on any consideration affecting 
the interests of humanity, but simply on considerations touch- 
ing the personal interests of his nephew. 

No stirring appeal to the English people to accompany the 
call upon their purses was therefore possible. In the writ 
issue of the which came forth on August 4, the demand was 
of C sh n ip- wnt justified on the ground ' that as all are concerned in 
money. tne mutual defence of one another, so all might put 
to their helping hands for the making of such preparations as, 
by the blessing of God, may secure this realm against those 
dangers and extremities which have distressed other nations, 
and are the common effects of war whensoever it taketh a 
people unprepared.' 

From these words it was evident that Charles contemplated 
not a temporary measure to resist a sudden danger, but a 
The funda- permanent taxation to oppose any possible risk from 
mental laws. a hostile force. Why then, men naturally asked one 
another, was not the nation itself consulted? Why was not 
Parliament summoned to provide a remedy for the evil ? A 
phrase which sprung into existence in these first days of doubt 
and hesitation had a long and brilliant future before' it. The 
new writ, it was said, violated the fundamental laws of England. 
It mattered little that no one could point out what those funda- 
mental laws were, any more than their ancestors could have 
pointed out precisely what were the laws of Edward or Edgar 

1 Coke to Boswell, July 30, S. P. Holland. 


the renewal of which they claimed. What they meant was 
that the English people had never entirely relinquished their 
control over their own destinies, nor had ever so put themselves 
like sheep into the hands of any king as to suffer themselves 
to be tended or shorn at his arbitrary will. Not in statute 
or precedent, not even in the Great Charter itself, but in the 
imperishable vitality of the nation, lay the fundamental laws of 

The phrase which was soon to become so familiar seems to 
have started into life amongst those courtiers of the Queen who 
were calling for a Parliament to force upon the King a French 
alliance. 1 It was, however, easily repeated, and it soon became 
the watchword of the common feeling of dissatisfaction which 
was slowly spreading over the kingdom. 

As yet, as far as we can judge, the feeling which prevailed 
with respect to the King was still one rather of dissatisfaction 
Feeling of than of positive disapprobation. He had not com- 
the nation. mitted the nation to any action which was distinctly 
unpopular. The fleet which had kept the sea during the sum- 
mer had done but little, good or bad. Nor was the pecuniary 
pressure of the ship-money great enough to be felt as crushing. 
The sum required was 208,9007., or about two-thirds of the 
sum levied by gift of Parliament in the year in which the 
Petition of Right had been granted, and only exceeding by 
about 7o,ooo/. the annual average of the amount levied in 
subsidies during the first four years of the reign. 2 The real 
grievance beyond that which attends any demand whatever for 
money was that the King had deliberately treated the nation 
as a stranger to his counsels, and that if his claim to levy money 
by his own authority were once admitted the door would be 
opened to other demands of which it was impossible to foresee 
the limits. 

1 Salvetti, in his .Vews- Letter of Q ept ' ? , ascribes it to the Puritans, but 

the Queen's party at Court were Puritans in his vocabulary, and I fancy 
from his language that these are intended by him. 

2 The subsidies collected since the beginning of the reign were 
6i2,387/. The result given above is obtained by allowing 52,ooo/. foi 
ariears left uncollected after March 1629. 


The growing impression that Charles was using technical 

law to secure possession of absolute power received some 

August. aliment from the persistency with which he con- 

Hoiiandin tinued to urge his forest claims. Holland had 

the New 

Forest. held his court at Winchester, and had struck at a 
victim more likely to make his voice heard at Court than the 
Essex landowners had been. The young Earl of Southampton 
was called in question for a great part of his estate at Beaulieu, 
and it was said that if sentence were given against him his 
income would be reduced by 2,ooo/. In October 
the blow fell. It was not likely that the King would 
prove inexorable to the Earl's petitions for relief ; and in fact 
Charles, after keeping him nine months in suspense, issued a 
pardon by which all future claims of the Crown were aban- 
doned. 1 It was none the less annoying to Southampton to be 
reduced to beg for the restitution of that which, but for the quirks 
of the lawyers, he might fairly regard as his own property. 2 

The view which Charles took of these forest claims was one 

which would bring more odium upon his government than the 

benefit which he derived from them was worth. In 


Commission September he issued a commission to Holland and 
and Essex others, authorising them to grant pardons for en- 
croachments upon Dean and Essex Forests to those 
who were willing to pay a moderate sum into the exchequer, 
and even to proceed to their disaftbrestation, if they could 
obtain the assent of those who were most interested in the 
measure. 3 If, therefore, Charles was far from converting his 
claims into engines of tyrannical oppression, or from wishing to 
draw from his subjects those enormous sums with which history 
has credited his memory, he allowed himself, for the sake of a 
few thousand pounds to be regarded as a greedy and litigious 
landlord rather than as a just ruler or as a national King. Every 
man who would have to draw from his purse the small sum 
needed to satisfy the royal demand, knew that the claim itself 

1 Pardon, July 8, 1636, Patent Rolls, 12 Charh-s /., Part 2O. 

2 Garrard to Wentworth, Oct. 3, Strojford Letters, i. 467. That sen- 
tance was given agaif st him is proved by his subsequent pardon. 

* Commission, Sept. 28, Kyniet, xix. 688. 


was founded on no broad principles of justice. He learned 
to regard his sovereign as an unfortunate suitor regards a 
sharp-witted and unprincipled attorney, who has succeeded in 
plundering him through his superior knowledge of legal tech- 

All this while the struggle between Laud and Cottington at 
the Treasury Commission was being carried on as vigorously 
Cottington as ever - Cottington had actually succeeded in 
wit f h V the r bringing round the Queen to his side, partly perhaps 
Queen. by holding up Wentworth's invincible probity as a 
bar to her hopes of obtaining good things for herself and her 
family, partly too by his lavish offers to support the French 
alliance, which he was secretly doing his best to undermine. 1 
Laud, moreover, was at the disadvantage of having as yet no 
candidate of his own to propose who was likely to be accept- 
able to the King, now that it had become less probable than 
ever that WenUorth, with the work of carrying out the plan- 
tation of Connaught before him, would be able to relinquish his 
post in Ireland. Even the King, much as he esteemed Laud, 
was not insensible to his rival's compliant flattery. Ever since 
the preceding year he had been bent upon enlarging 

Richmond * , 111- 

Park to be Richmond Park, and had issued a commission to 
compound with the owners of lands within the pro- 
jected boundary. 2 Some of these owners refused to part with 
their property, and Charles, impatient of resistance to his wishes, 
ordered that a brick wall should at once be built round the 
circuit of the new park, thus cutting them off from the surround- 
ing country and depriving them of the value of their land. To 
August. Laud the whole scheme was most distasteful. Not 
Laud pro- on i y fa<\ it infringe upon the rights of property, but 

tests against 

the expense, it would entail an expense of many thousand pounds. 
What hope was there of effecting a balance between the re- 
venue and the expenditure, if Charles could not control his desire 
for personal gratification ? When the demand for the money 
was brought before the Treasury Board, the Archbishop opposed 

1 Seneterre's despatches are full of the intrigues of ' ce fourbe de 
Cottington,' as he calls him. 

2 Commission, Dec. 12, 1634. Kymer, xix. 585. 


it stoutly. These were not times, he said, for the King to spend 
anything in buildings of mere show. He was much astonished 
to find that there were men who had put such thoughts into his 
Majesty's head. Cottington, who knew himself to be aimed at, 
and who had privately remonstrated with the King in the same 
sense as Laud, nevertheless saw an opportunity of currying 
favour with Charles by appearing in his defence. They were 
not there, he said, to discuss whether his Majesty's intention 
were good or bad, but simply to put it into execution. As for 
himself, he did not think that the King was so poor as not to 
be able to meet a demand made on him for his own private 
pleasure, even if it entailed considerable expense. It was he 
who had advised his Majesty to do what he had done, knowing 
that there was nothing wrong in it. Laud, hearing this as- 
tounding confession, reproached Cottington bitterly, and the 
The King sitting broke up in confusion. When Charles heard 
ofh!s P con" s wnat had passed he only laughed at Laud for being 
duct. S o easily taken in, and showed more favour than ever 

to Cottington. There were those who thought that he was 
secretly pleased to find a servant who was ready to tell a false- 
hood in order to take upon his own shoulders the blame which 
ought to have devolved on his master. 1 

Laud had the mortification of seeing the continuance of the 

expense ; io,9oo/. were paid during the next six months for 

building the wall, and the compensation of the owners 

October. . ' 

Cottington of the soil would be likely to cost much more. Cot- 
ofthe frea r - e tington was in higher favour than ever. In the be- 

gi nn i n g o f October it was almost universally believed 
at Court that he had secured the Treasury. 2 The discovery 
that Charles was not to be depended on in resisting extra- 

1 The story told by Clarendon (i. 208) is demonstrably placed at a 
wrong date, and differs in most particulars from that told by Correr in his 

despatch of Aug. -r. Still they are manifestly two forms of the same story, 
and I have not hesitated to give the preference to the contemporary nar- 
rative. borrowing a point here and there from Clarendon. 

* Wotton to Cottington, Oct. 4, 5". P. Dom, ccxcix. 4 ; Correr to 

the Doge, Oct. , Yen. MSS. 


vagance was a heavy blow for Laud. " Now," he wrote, in 
commenting on Windebank's opposition, "the course hath 
fallen out otherwise with me, and so as I little expected, for 
I have all fair carriage and all other respects in private, but 
Laud's m tne public he joins with Cottington ; insomuch 
complaints, j.]-^ m f ne soa p business, where I thought I had all 
reason on my side, I was deserted, and the opposite assisted 
by him ; and not in this alone, but in the Commission for the 
Treasury, Windebank went stiffly, with Cottington and the rest, 
that it was not fit, nor no good could come of it, that the King 
should know his own estate. Now the thing that troubles me 
is this, that all should be as fair, and as much profession as 
ever, and a desertion of me in such open, honourable, and just 
ways as this." Such is the picture of Charles's Court drawn by 
Charles's most devoted supporter. "I am alone," he said," in 
those things which draw not private profit after them." ' 

The antagonism between the two men and the two systems 
which they advocated came to its height in the Star Chamber. 
Case of Pell A certain Sir Anthony Pell had long had claims 
fiTthfstar against the Crown, and had found it impossible to 
Chamber. obtain from the late Treasurer a sum of 6,ooo/. which 
was due to him. In his difficulty he appealed to Eliot's old 
enemy, Sir James Bagg, who had transferred his fawning servility 
to Portland after Buckingham's death. Bagg recommended 
him to bribe the Treasurer, and offered himself as the medium 
of the operation. On this pretext he drew from him no less a 
sum than 2,5007. After some time spent in fresh supplications 
for payment, Pell, finding himself no nearer his end than he 
had been before, charged Bagg in the Star Chamber with ap- 
propriating the money himself. Bagg replied that he had paid 
it over to Portland, and had no further responsibility 

Nov. ii. * * 

The court When the day of sentence arrived, Laud and his 
friends took the part of Pell, on the ground that, 
even if Portland had had the money, Bagg deserved punish- 
ment as a broker of bribery, whilst Cottington warmly sup- 
ported Bagg. In the end the court was equally divided, and 

1 Laud to Wentworth, Oct. 4, Laud's Works, vii. 171. 


judgment was only given for Pell by the casting vote of the 
Lord Keeper. 1 

It was startling that nine out of eighteen Privy Councillors 
should have rallied to the defence of such a transaction. Still 
Arguments more startling were some of the arguments by which 
f e S nce'of de * they supported their vote. " Suppose," said Cotting- 
Ba sg- ton of Bagg, " that he had the money, is it a crime if 

a man undertake to effect a business for another ? " "I do not 
think it to be a crime," said Dorset, " for a courtier that comes 
up to Court for his Majesty's service, and lives at great expense 
by his attendance, to receive a reward to get a business done by 
a great man in power." Windebank followed in words which 
are enough to show that Laud's estrangement from him arose 
from a difference which went deeper than any mere divergence 
of opinion on the soap business. " For the bill itself," he said, 
in speaking of Pell's complaint, " I hold it precisely a most 
scandalous defamatory libel. ... I do hold the main intent 
and scope of the plaintiff was most maliciously to defame the 
Lord Treasurer, and under colour of clearing him, to wound 
his honour through the sides of his kinsmen, his friends, his 
two secretaries ; and, rather than this bhould fail, to bring into 
public agitation and question his Majesty's affairs and debts, 
which in my poor opinion is of exceeding dangerous conse- 
quence, and all the good that would come of the punishment 
of Sir James Bagg, were he as foul as they would make him, is 
not to be put in the balance with the detriment that by the 
Laud's precedent may come to the King's service." 2 Laud's 
reply. reply was crushing. " If the Lord Treasurer have a 

near kinsman, or secretary, or any other employed for him, if 

1 Rushworth, ii. 303. On Laud's side were Finch, Bramston, Coke, 
Vane, Newburgh, Holland, Lindsey, and Coventry ; on Cottington's, 
Windebank, Juxon, Carlisle, Dorset, Arundel, Lennox. Manchester, Neile. 
It is strange to find the two bishops on Cottington's side. The judges, 
however, are in their place in voting with Laud. They wished to establish 
something very like absolute monarchy in England, but they wished it to 
be free from corruption. 

' J Windehank's notes, Oct. 23, Nov. 4, 6, u, S. P. Dom. ccc. 34, 
ccci. 13, 27, 56. 

1635 BAGG'S ESCAPE. 91 

those men shall be corrupt, or do those acts which shall make 
the world believe it is so, it shall be as much as if they were 
really guilty. For by this means the people will run on with 
an opinion of bribery and corruprion. They cannot have it 
out of this great man's hand, but they must go that way of 
bribery to the secretary for it. It shall not only bring great 
men into despite, who perhaps never heard of it, but men when 
they cannot have their money without going this way care not 
what they do." Of Bagg himself he spoke as he deserved. 
"See," he said, "the many letters he writ, 'James Bagg, your 
most real friend.'' Your business will be better done if you 
leave it to your friend, James Bagg.' Here is his hand against 
his oath and his oath against his hand. He is a most base 
fellow to say ' Your most real friend,' and to serve Sir Anthony 
as he did. I have now done with that bottomless bag, and with 
my censure." ! 

Once more Laud failed to carry the King with him. Charles 
could not bear to punish a man who had devoted himself to 
Charles his service. He refused to inflict any penalty what- 
mfnisli l ever u P on B a gg> and he left him in possession of the 
Ba gg- governorship of the fort at Plymouth. Such weak- 

ness was in truth an abdication of the higher duties of govern- 
ment which went far to justify the rising distrust of the Royal 
authority. Laud and Wentworth and Coventry might talk as 
loudly as they pleased about the duty of submission to his 
Majesty. The man who condoned the offences of Bagg was 
deficient in the elementary qualities by which respect is secured 
for a ruler. 

Yet if Charles was not sufficiently impressed by the evidence 
produced at the trial to punish the culprit, he learned enough 
Cottmgton's to niake him hesitate whether it would be prudent 
chance of the to entrust the Treasurer's staff to Cottington's hands. 

1 1 easurer* *-* 

ship. A month before it had been believed that his ap- 

pointment was certain. The end of November found the office 
still vacant. 

Opposed as Laud and Cottington were, they agreed in 

1 Land's Works, vL 29. 


urging on the collection of ship-money. In the sheriffs and 
November J nst i ces f tne peace the King had his representa- 
Coiiection of tives in every county of England. To the sheriffs 
>ney> especially, the work of conducting the assessment was 
committed, and they were directed to take account of personal 
as well as of real property, so as to bring the new levy into 
truer proportion to the actual income of the contributors than 
that of the old subsidies had been. For. some time very few 
ventured to attack the imposition as illegal, but the very novelty 
of the mode of assessment offered an excuse for complaints. 
The work had to be done suddenly and speedily, and all over 
England the sheriffs were overwhelmed* with outcries against 
the unfairness of their decisions. Every hundred, every village 
in the country had excellent reasons to show why it should pay 
less than others, and though there was seldom anything said 
in these complaints in any way inconsistent with an acknow- 
ledgment of the King's right to claim payment, the agitation 
would be certain to predispose those who took part in it to 
listen eventually to bolder spirits who might declare the demand 
in itself unwarranted. 

Much depended on the character of the sheriffs. In 
Lancashire, Humphrey Chetham, whose name will ever be 
Humphrey honoured in Manchester, was sheriff for the year. 
Chetham. jje sent at once for the mayors and constables, 
settled the assessment in a rough and ready fashion, refused 
to listen to excuses, and collected and sent up the money to 
Whitehall before the year was at an end. l 

Few of the sheriffs were so prompt or masterful as Chetham. 

Letters full of difficulties about the assessments poured in 

upon the Council. Edward Nicholas, who was now 


of the secretary to the Commissioners of the Admiralty, 

was appointed to carry on the correspondence, and 

iii e cteford? to give an account of it to the Council at its weekly 
Sunday meeting. 2 The first sign of a direct oppo- 

tion to the ship-money upon principle came from the hundred 

1 Chetham to the Council, Dec. 16. Printed in the preface to Bruce's 
Calendar of S. P. Dam. 163.5. 
* Council Register^ Nov. 8. 


of Bloxham in Oxfordshire. In that hundred lay Broughion, 
where was the estate of Lord Saye and Sele, who was dis- 
tinguished alike for the strength and pertinacity of his Puri- 
tanism and for the doggedness with which he turned to account 
every legal weapon which might serve his cause. Close by, 
too, though not actually within the hundred, was Banbury, that 
most Puritan of Puritan towns, in which, according to a jest 
which obtained some circulation, men were in the habit of 
hanging their cats on Monday for catching mice on Sunday. 1 
To the chief constables of this hundred Sir Peter Wentworth, 
the sheriff of the county, made out his warrant directing them 
to summon the discreetest men of the hundred to assess upon 
the inhabitants the 2ogl. charged on them. The reply he re- 
ceived, which was probably suggested by Lord Saye, was that 
' upon good consideration had,' they thought they had ' no 
authority to assess or tax any man, neither ' did ' they con- 
ceive the warrant ' gave ' them any power so to do,' and there- 
fore they did ' humbly beg to be excused in and about executing 
the said service.' A second warrant produced no more satis- 
factory answer. In Banbury hundred the constable of a tithing 
absolutely refused to make any return of the names of those 
who would not pay. The sheriff forwarded these answers to 
the Council, with the suggestion that the constables should 
be called before the Board. 2 But the Council was in no hurry 
to be brought into personal collision with these men. Went- 
worth was directed to make the assessment himself. The 
principle thus adopted of making the sheriffs personally re- 
sponsible was maintained to the end, and their diligent if not 
their zealous co-operation was thus enlisted in the service of the 
Remissness Court. The London sheriffs, who had been slow in 
m London, carrying out their assessment, were summoned at the 
same time before the Council, and were ordered to attend every 
Sunday to give an account of their proceedings till they had 
completed their task. 3 

1 Branthwait's Drunken Barnaby. 

2 Wentworth to the Council, Nov. 27 (?), S. P. Dom. cccii. 90. The 
certificates from Bloxham are enclosed, dated Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. 

1 Minutes by Nicholas, Nov. 29, S. P. Dom. cccii. 90. 


In Essex, too, some of the constables refused to assess. In 

Devonshire the sheriff reported his fears that at least in some 

cases it would be necessary to have recourse to dis- 

Refusal to .... , 

assess in traint and imprisonment. As yet, however, such 

direct refusal was exceptional, and the Council had 
no reason to apprehend that it wou^d be generally imitated. 

Still, there was opposition enough to create an uneasy 
feeling. Charles directed Finch to ask the opinion of the 

judges on the legality of the step which he had 
The judges taken. Finch afterwards declared thut he 'did never 

use the least promise of preferment or reward to any, 
nor did use the least menace.' 2 It is likely enough that this 
was the case. It was unnecessary to remind the judges which 
way the King's wishes lay, and most of them were inclined by 
their own temperament to take the same view of the case as 
that which had been adopted by Coventry and Finch. 

Without much delay Finch brought back the signatures of 
ten of the twelve judges to the following answer : "I am of 
Opinion of opinion that as where the benefit doth more particu- 
the judges. j ar ]y re( j oun( j to the ports or maritime parts, as in 
the case of piracy or depredations on the seas, there the charge 
hath been and may lawfully be imposed upon them according 
to precedents of former times ; so where the good and safety 
of the kingdom in general is concerned, and the whole kingdom 
in danger of which his Majesty is the only judge there the 
charge of the defence ought to be borne by all the kingdom in 
general." 3 

Of the two judges whose names were not appended 
H r utto n a do to the paper, Croke gave a guarded opinion that 

when the whole kingdom was in danger, the defence 

1 Report of the Sheriff of Essex, Nov. 15. The Sheriff of Devonshire 
to Nicholas, Nov. 26, S. P. Dom. ccci. 96, cccii. 87. 

2 I\'ushu'orth, iii. 126. 

* Bramstori 's Autobiography (Camden Soc.), 66. Probably he found 
the paper amongst the MSS. of his father the judge. He says that all the 
judges signed, but Finch's evidence (Rush-worth, 126) that two did not is 
lo be preferred, as he had better opportunities for knowing, and was not 
likely to have misstated a fact which must have been notorious. 


thereof ought to be borne by all,' without reference to the 
quarter from which the demand should come. Hutton did 
not sign at all. 

It is impossible to dive into the hearts of the ten judges 

who decided for the King. The knowledge that their tenure 

of office depended on his favour may not have been 

The legal . . * 

view of the altogether without its influence, an influence probably 
entirely unacknowledged by themselves. But it is 
only fair to allow much more than it has been the habit ol 
historians to allow for the difficulty of answering the question 
put to them in any other way, without admitting, on the one 
hand, political considerations into a legal opinion, or abandon- 
ing, on the other hand, that view of the constitution which they 
had themselves so frequently defended. 

The only part of their opinion, indeed, which was in any 
way subject to doubt was that which asserted the King to be 
the sole judge of the danger. For the politician the solution of 
the difficulty was not hard to find. It was not unreason- 
able to hold in the seventeenth century that if danger were 
really to come suddenly and unexpectedly, the King would be 
authorised, just as the Cabinet would be authorised in the 
nineteenth century, to take any steps which might be neces- 
sary for the safety of the State, without regard for the restraints 
of law ; and that, as such steps would have to be taken in a 
moment of confusion when there was no time to summon a 
Parliament, the King must of necessity be the sole judge of the 
danger, for meeting which he was alone responsible. It was 
also not unreasonable to hold that in cases where the dan- 
ger was likely to develop itself more slowly, he would be bound 
to apply to Parliament for the special powers which he 
thought himself to stand in need of. Yet not only was it 
difficult to discover a legal formula which would distinguish 
between sudden danger and danger of a more deliberate kind, 
but the training of the judges had not been such as to lead 
them to look with favour upon any attempt to circumscribe the 
prerogative. The fact was, not that Charles had assumed to 
himself a right of judging of the danger which had never been 
claimed by his predecessors, but that he had stretched that 


right immeasurably beyond the limits within which their good 
sense had confined it. They had called upon their subjects to 
follow them when an attack from an enemy was apprehended, 
and they had sometimes exaggerated the danger in order to 
serve their own ends. Charles, with no immediate risk in 
view, had rightly judged that there was a necessity of per- 
manently increasing the defensive forces of the realm, and had 
imposed upon the kingdom a tax which he intended to make 
permanent in order to free himself from the necessity of calling 
a Parliament. 

Once more, behind all the legal arguments about ship- 
money rose the great question which had risen behind the legal 
is PaiHa- arguments about tonnage and poundage : Was Par- 
stftuentpart nament a constituent part of the Government or 
of the state? not ? Could it use its rights in order to force its 
policy upon the King, or was the King justified in falling 
back upon his ancient, and more than his ancient, prerogative, 
in order to maintain his own policy in spite of the objections 
of his subjects ? In plain words, the question was whether the 
King or Parliament was to be supreme in the State. This 
broad view of the case could not fail to force itself more and 
more plainly on the eyes of all men. Lawyers might declaim 
about the prerogatives of the Crown as they had been handed 
down from the Middle Ages. Common sense would teach 
the mass of the nation that the practical extent of the preroga- 
tive had by no means coincided with its theoretical extent, 
and that there had been all sorts of regular and irregular in- 
fluences by which it had been kept in check, which might not 
come within the purview of the judges, but which it was the 
duty of the existing generation of Englishmen to refurbish or to 

Surely Charles was right, though in a sense higher than he 
thought, in judging that danger was abroad ; but it was not a 
where was danger from a foreign enemy. It lay in the rending 
the danger? asun d e r of the old ties which in old days had bound 
to the kings of England the hearts of their subjects, and against 
this danger neither ship-money nor ships themselves would be 
of any avail. 


Such far-reaching considerations, however, were beyond 

Charles's ken. His mind was set on the attempt to turn the 

fleet which he had acquired at the risk of such 


Prospects weakening of the basis of his authority, to some 
leet * practical service to himself. Immediately after the 
issue of the writs, he assured the Spanish Government that if 
they were still ready to find the money, he was ready to go on 
Charles' w ^ t ^ 6 treatv ^ the preceding year, while Taylor, who 
offers to was about to set out for Vienna, was directed to offer 
th P e a Em? to the Emperor the alliance of England if he would 

give satisfaction in respect to the Palatinate. 1 As 
before, negotiations with France accompanied negotiations with 
Spain. The Queen, in her husband's name, urged Seneterre to 
take up the broken thread once more. Seneterre answered drily, 
that it would be better for him to hold his peace than again to 
go through the form of exchanging words without a meaning. 
Richelieu decided otherwise. If Charles would simply engage 

to abstain from helping Spain, would lend his fleet to 

September. , . , , , , , , 

Richelieu's his nephew, and would allow Louis to levy volunteers 
in his dominions, France would engage not to make 
peace without the restitution of the Palatinate, though the 
question of the Electorate was to be reserved for the final 
determination of the Electors. 2 Seneterre saw clearly that 
Charles's real wishes were that everything should be done for 
him, and little or nothing by him. " If," wrote the ambassador, 
" the war could be eternal, and if both we and the Spaniards 
could be equally ruined, it would, be the joy of his heart." 3 
Oct. 21. Charles, as it proved, had nothing but fault to find with 
proposes a the proposals made to him. He had, however, a coun- 
change 1 of" ter-proposal of his own. As the Emperor had seized 
Lorraine fa e Palatinate, France had seized Lorraine. Let the 

and the ' 

Palatinate. Emperor and France make restitution of their prey, 
and peace would be restored. He would himself be ready to 

1 Instructions to Aston and Taylor, Aug. 15, C/ar. S. P. i. 306, 310. 
* Seneterre to Bouthillier, Aug. --. Memoir for Seneterre, Sept. i- 
Bibl Nat. Fr. 15,993. 

Seneterre to Bouthillier, -. &<* 


show favour to that power which was the first to give way. 
Seneterre positively refused to transmit such a project to his 
master, and Charles was obliged to send it through his own 
ambassador. Richelieu did not even think the suggestion 
worthy of a reply. l 

The formal justice of the arrangement had taken possession 
of Charles's mind. He did not see that a question of territory 
cannot be decided as a right to an estate is decided. If one 
landowner is adjudged to surrender a field to another, the loss 
sustained by him is limited to the actual diminution of hig 
estate. The same authority which has deprived him of part of 
his possessions will secure him in the enjoyment of the rest. 
There is no authority in existence to prevent a State which has 
acquired land by conquest or cession from using it as a vantage 
ground from which to carry on a further attack. If Ferdinand 
were to restore the Palatinate to the young Charles Lewis, who 
was to assure him that the Palatinate would not again become 
a focus of intrigue against the Emperor ? If Louis were to 
restore Lorraine to its own Duke, who was to assure him that 
Lorraine would not again become a focus of intrigue against 
France ? If indeed France and the Empire with Spain at its back 
could lay aside all hostile intentions, it would matter little what 
petty prince was in command at Heidelberg or at Nancy. But 
the real quarrel was between France and Spain, and Charles's 
proposal did not even attempt to remove the causes which had 
brought about the war between the two Western monarchies. 

The scheme had, in fact, been suggested to Charles by the 

Queen. It originated in aims which were purely personal. She 

wanted to be on good terms with Richelieu, in order 

iuggLwdby to obtain from him the liberation of the Chevalier de 

ie Queen. j ars ^ &n( j to secure her mo ther's return to France and 

the restitution of the Duchess of Chevreuse to Parisian life. She 
also hoped by obtaining the restoration of the Duke of Lorraine 
to give complete satisfaction to the whole circle of her mother's 
friends. For once the impulsive personal feelings of the Queen 
were in accord with the cold formal judgment of her husband. 

1 Proposition of the King, Oct. ". Seneterre to Bouthillier, Nov. ~ 
BibL Nat. Fr. 15,993. 


One had just as little hold as the other on the realities of life. 

Her confidant Holland urged Seneterre to accept the 

plan, not because it was likely to effect a peace, but 

because the Emperor was sure to refuse to fulfil his part of the 

bargain, and Charles would then throw himself into the arms of 

France from pique at the refusal. 1 

In the midst of these intrigues, the young Elector Palatine 
suddenly made his appearance at the English Court. Elizabeth 
NOV. 21. trusted that her son's innocent boyish face would work 
Pafattne ^ wonders at Whitehall. Charles had given his consent 
England. {Q {-fog v ' ls i^ an d both he and the Queen received the 
lad with the most affectionate welcome ; but the cause which 
he came to plead was injured rather than advanced by his pre- 
The French sence. Already in the Netherlands, Elizabeth had 
acknowledge quarrelled with Charnace", the French ambassador at 
his title. the Hague, for refusing to give the title of Electoral 
Highness to her son. To allow the insult to pass unchallenged 
was, she said, to acknowledge her husband to have been legally 
proscribed. " Believe me," she declared to the ambassador, 
" neither fair means nor foul shall ever make me do anything 
that shall give the least touch to the King my husband's honour ; 
I will sooner see all my children lie dead before me rather than 
do it, and if any of them be so desperate as to consent to any such 
thing, I will give them my curse." 2 A demand which sat well 
on the lips of a high-spirited widow might accord ill with the exi- 
They refuse gencies of a statesman. Charles, however, was as reso- 
to do so. i ute as his s i s ter had been. The French ambassadors 
replied that they were quite ready to address the King's nephew 
as his Highness, but that they could not style him his Electoral 
Highness. 3 Their Government supported them in their refusal. 
The King of France had deliberately announced his intention of 
referring the question of the Palatine Electorate to the decision 
of the Electors, and he knew better than to raise up enemies in 
Germany for the shadowy chance of making an ally of Charles. 

1 Seneterre to Bouthillier, Nov. ^|, Bibl. Nat. Fr. 15,993. 

* Boswell to the King, March, 5. P. Holland. 

1 Seneterre to Bouthillier, ^. ov " 25 . Bouthillier to Seneterre, *J V ' 7? 

Ucc. 5 Ucc 7i 

Bibl. Nat. Fr. 15,993. 

H a 


Necolalde saw his opportunity. He knew perfectly well that 
none of the allies of Spain were likely to take oflfence at any 
Dec. i. words which he might employ for the purpose of 
^ves'the" hoodwinking the King of England. He accordingly 
title - asked for an audience, and addressing Charles Lewis 

in a loud and deliberate voice as "Your Electoral Highness," 
proceeded to congratulate him on having left a rebellious 
country, and to assure him that his interests were better 
attended to in Spain than he imagined. 1 

Necolalde gained his object. Charles stiffly rejected all 

proposals made to him by the French. At a meeting of the 

Committee of Foreign Affairs he openly spoke of 

Charlesturns ~ , __ ., . . . . 

against the Seneterre as a cheat. Hamilton truly said that 
Necolalde only spoke as a courtier. " I esteem him 
all the more," replied the King, " for his courtesy and good- 
will He behaves like a Spaniard, and the Spaniards are my 
friends on whom I can rely. All the rest is deception and 
villainy. I thank God that I have been so much the master 
of myself that, with continual temptations for two years, I have 
not given way to those who prefer dissension and hostility in 
Christendom to peace." 2 

That Charles would render any real service to peace might 
be doubted. For the present, at least, he was giving immense 
Money sent ne ^P to one P ar ty m the war. A ship of the fleet 
to Flanders. wn ich had convoyed his ambassador to Spain re- 
turned with loojooo/. in Spanish coin, and landed it safely at 
Dunkirk for the payment of the Cardinal Infant's army. 3 

In the meanwhile Taylor had been taking his journey to 

learn whether the Palatinate was to drop into Charles's lap or 

not. On November 12 he arrived at Vienna. "Ger- 

Nov. n. 

Taylor at many," he wrote, " the greatest and whilom the fairest 

country of Europe, is now the most miserable, and 

looks hideous to the eye . . . From Cologne unto Passau I 

saw nothing but desolation ; the people being almost dead, 

1 Correr to the Doge, Dec. ^, Ven. MSS. 

Necolalde to the Cardinal Infant, Dec. -, Sruss^s MSS. I can 
only give the translation of a translation 

Windebank to Flopton, Dec. 20, Clar. S. P. i. 389. 


and no corn sown for next year, so that it is feared that even 
those few that survive will perish through famine and hunger." 

Taylor, himself a Roman Catholic, and half a Spaniard by 
birth, felt too little interest in the cause which he had come 
December, to advocate to be otherwise than hopeful of success. 
pe h ror E g 7v'es " The Emperor," he wrote, " hath again, at the King's 
hopes request, set open the gates of his mercy ; " he would 

doubtless restore the Lower Palatinate, and everything else 

1636. would follow in due time. According to his instruc- 
Tayio^ 7 tions Taylor held out hopes of a league between his 
thinks well master and the House of Austria. The idea, he re- 

of the pros- . . 

pect. ported, was favourably received. Even Maximilian 

of Bavaria had talked of giving up such lands as he held in the 
Lower Palatinate. If only the young heir would visit Vienna 
and marry the Emperor's daughter, and if the English fleet 
were really used for an attack upon France, some concessions 

might be made in Germany. 1 On January 4 the 
The Em- Emperor formally declared that if the Count Palatine 

would engage to enter into a close alliance with the 
House of Austria and would make proper submission, he should 
be placed in possession of a ' not contemptible ' part of the 
lands formerly held by his father. Anything further must be 
the subject of direct negotiation with the King of England. 2 

Did Charles really mean to accept such terms as these ? 
Was the influence of the Palatine House, whatever it might be, 
March. to be thrown into the scale of Spain and the Em- 
A o U to d Ger P eror ? Was the new ship-money fleet to be employed 
many. j n an unjustifiable war with France for a simply dy- 

nastic object ? Charles could not make up his mind. He 
had now two nephews by his side pleading with him to treat 
the Emperor's overtures with contempt, as Rupert, ardent and 
boisterous, had come to join his more sedate elder brother. 

1 Taylor to Windebank, Nov. - Dec. 5. 19. Dec 23 The Emperor s 
' 28' 15, 29, Jan. a 

Answer, Jan. z -*. Taylor to Cottington, Jan. ^, Clar. S. P. i. 369, 373, 
375. 394. 434. 43 2 - Taylor to Coke, Jan. ~, S. P. Germany. 
1 The Emperor's answer, Feb. ^, Clar. S. P. i. 461. 


Charles was half-inclined to think that they were in the right ; 
but in the end he resolved to send a more formal embassy to 
Vienna to obtain a definite resolution from the Emperor, and he 
selected the stately Arundel for the task. 

Uncertain as Chanes was as to the use to which the new 
fleet was to be put, he had no hesitation in enforcing the pay- 
ment of the ship-money by which it was to be 
ship-money equipped. At the end of January ii9,ooo/. had 
enforced. been paid. At the end of March the sum received 
amounted to 156,0007. ; l but there were still considerable ar- 
rears, and even this amount had not been gathered without 
difficulty. On February n, for instance, Sir Peter 

Difficulties , TT 11, ,, , , , ^ f , , 

in Oxford- Wentworth had collected i,6oo/. in Oxfordshire, 
leaving i,9oo/. unpaid. Failing to get assistance 
from the constables he had been compelled to make the assess- 
ment himself. 2 Sir Francis Norris, who succeeded him as 
sheriff, found that in some parts of the county the assessments 
had still to be made. Warrants were sent to the incumbents 
of the parishes, to the churchwardens, overseers, and constables, 
calling on them to produce their books. They utterly refused 
to do anything of the kind ; and the Council, true to its policy of 
throwing all responsibility on the sheriff, ordered Norris sharply 
to make the assessment by his own officers, sending the refrac- 
tory constables to the Council to answer for themselves. Even 
when the assessments had been made, resistance did not come 
to an end. At Stoke Newington the constable and another 
of the inhabitants wrote to the sheriff that no money should 
be gathered in the parish till he informed them of some law 
or statute binding them thereto. It was a brave answer ; but 
the two men had not the courage to deliver it themselves. 
They sent their letter by the hands of a poor tailor. Norris, 
goaded past endurance, seized upon the unlucky messenger 
and sent him to London. There he remained in prison for 
some time, protesting, probably in all sincerity, that he was 
entirely ignorant of the contents of the letter with which he 

1 S. P. Dom, cccxii. 76, ccxvii. 41. 

" Receipt, Feb. II. Wentworth to the Council, Feb. 12, ibid, cccxiii. 
89, 93- 


had been entrusted. The Privy Council did not hold that the 
seizure of the tailor excused the sheriff. Nor were 
they influenced by his assurances that the resistance 
was stirred up by persons of high quality in the county. They 
replied that if such were the case those persons ought to be 
called to account. It was Norris's business to make the assess- 
ment, beginning with men of the highest rank. If the incum- 
bents or churchwardens refused to show their books, they might 
be required to enter into bonds to appear before the Council, 
and if they refused to do this they might be committed to 
prison. If, as frequently happened, no one could 
be found in the county willing to buy cattle taken 
by distraint from those who refused to pay, the animals were 
to be sent to London to be sold by the King's officers. 1 All 
that sheriff or Council could do, however, availed but little. 
Of the i,9oo/. outstanding in February, only ioo/. had been 
collected by the end of June, and at the beginning of October 
only an additional 2oo/. had been paid. 

No doubt Oxfordshire was in some respects an exceptional 

county. Lord Saye was always at hand, and, though no direct 

evidence is to be had, there can be little doubt that 

June. ' 

General he encouraged the resistance. Many other counties, 

however, were not much better disposed to submit. 

The register of the Privy Council is crowded with letters urging 

chambers the sheriffs to do their duty. In London Richard 

the^King^ Chambers, untamed by the fine and imprisonment 

Bench. which had been inflicted on him on account of his 

resistance to the payment of tonnage and poundage, manfully 

carried the question of right before the Court of King's Bench. 

The judges would not even allow the question to be 

The court , , -1,1 , 

refuses to argued. Justice Berkeley said that there was a rule 
of law and a rule of government, and that many 
things which might not be done by the rule of law might be 
done by the rule of government' 2 

1 Norris to the Council, March II. The Council to Norris, March 22. 
Return by French and Roberts, April 14. Willett's petition, April (?), 
S. P. Daw. cccxv. 133 ; cccxvi. 92 ; cccxviii. 75 ; cccxix. 108. The 
Council to Norris, May 5, Council Register. * Rushwor'Ji, ii. 323. 


It was hardly possible to render a worse service to the Crown 
than to proclaim openly from the bench that Charles's rule was 
bound by no law. It had been an old maxim, even of the Crown 
lawyers, that the limits of the prerogative were subject to ar- 
gument in Westminster Hall. Berkeley would have 
placed it in a higher sphere, bound by no restraints, 
down. limited by no conditions save those which the King 
might think right to place upon himself. The feeling that law 
was trodden under foot would quickly spread, and would give 
an imaginative force to a resistance which would be based on 
a higher motive than the dislike to pay a tax which had not 
been paid before. The belief quickly spread that far more 
was at stake than the payment of the few pounds or the few 
shillings which were now exacted. " If this," wrote D'Ewes, 
" could be done lawfully, then, by the same right, the King, 
upon the like pretence, might gather the same sum ten, twelve, 
or a hundred times redoubled, and so to infinite proportions 
to any one shire, when and as often as he pleased ; and so no 
man was, in conclusion, worth anything." l 

Never was any reproach more ill-founded than that which 
has been raised against the generation which resisted ship- 
money, on the ground that its material comforts 
of the re- l n were well provided for and that the burden imposed 

nce ' upon it was slight. In nations, as in men, a 
sensitive apprehension of the consequences which will follow 
from causes apparently unimportant is the mark of a well-de- 
veloped and highly strung organisation. It was because the 
English nation had learned in the course of its past history the 
virtues of self-reliance and perspicacity, that it was roused to 
indignation by an impost which was materially slight. The 
possibilities of future hardship, together with the present insult 
offered by a Government which showed no confidence in the 
people, and which treated them as permanently incapable of 
understanding their own interests, stung them to the quick. 

In the summer of 1636 two years had passed away since 
England first learned from Coventry's mouth that ship-money 

1 D'Ewes, Autobiography, ii. 130. 


was to be paid. During those years an attack upon the re- 
ligion of the majority of religious Englishmen had 

Religious . . ,, , . , , , , . 

c- been running parallel with the attack upon their 

property. To D'Ewes, the Puritan antiquary, as 
to many others, 1634 was the beginning of evils. 1 It is time 
to see what Laud had been doing in these years to alienate 
the Protestantism of England. 

1 D'Ewes, Autobiography, ii. 119. 




LAUD might well lament that there was little chance of seeing 
his principle of Thorough carried out in the administration of 

, 634 . the Government. At the Queen's Court it was openly 
churched" said tnat > with the sin g^ e exception of the Arch 
State. bishop, the whole Council might be bought for 20,000 

crowns. 1 Exaggerated as the statement was, there was enough 
truth in it to cause sorrow to those who had the King's interest 
at heart. Even in Charles himself Thorough found but little 
place. His wishes were all in the direction of just and equal 
government. But there was no self-sacrificing energy in his 
character, no resolute discouragement of men who were using 
his name to forward their own interests. 

In Laud's own sphere, the energy of Thorough was not 
wanting. His hand was everywhere. Rich and poor, high 
and low, alike felt its weight. If only his energy had been at 
the command of a broader intelligence, he would have gained 
a name second to none in the long list of the benefactors of the 
English people. 

The best side of Laud's character was his grand sense of 
the equality of men before the law. Nothing angered him so 
Laud's love niuch as the claim of a great man to escape a penalty 
ofequaiity. wn i c h would fall on others. Nothing brought him 
into such disfavour with the great as his refusal to admit that 
the punishment which had raised no outcry when it was meted 
out to the weak and helpless should be spared in the case of 

1 Panzani's report, AM. AJSS. 15,389, fol. 99. 


the powerful and wealthy offender. If, as all men then be- 
lieved, it was fitting that the village lass should expiate her 
sin by standing up to do penance in a white sheet in the face 
of the congregation of her parish church, why was the lord of 
the manor to pursue a career of profligacy unchecked ? It was 
Laud's misfortune that an outrage upon good order and decency 
roused his anger as strongly as an outrage upon morality. He. 
heard everywhere of men slouching into church with their hats 
on, lolling on the benches till they fell asleep, of churchyards 
left unfenced, of pigs rooting on the graves, and of churches 
themselves left untended. These things he determined to 
remedy by the infliction of excessive penalties. Nor was he 
content with vindicating propriety against mere indecency and 
disorder. The law of the Church was to be carried out to the 
letter, even when it came into collision with the conscientious 
beliefs of the men with whom he had to deal. With him it was 
not the heart which was to pour itself out in definite forms, 
but the forms which were to train and discipline the heart. 
Men were to kneel at the reception of the communion that 
they might be taught humility, to bow at the utterance of the 
sacred name of Jesus that they might be taught reverence. 

In order that his will might be felt beyond his own diocese, 

it was necessary that he should revive from the storehouse of 

bypast times the rmht of Metropolitical Visitation 

1 he Metro- ' r n 

political which had been exercised by his predecessors before 
the Reformation. Once in the time of his occupation 
of the archiepiscopal see he was to appear in person or by 
deputy in every diocese of his province, to take a survey of the 
state of ecclesiastical discipline, and to carry out the reforms 
which were needed to bring the Church and the clergy into 
accordance with the law of the Church. 

Like the levy of ship-money, Laud's claim rested on pre- 
cedents of undoubted antiquity. Like ship-money, too, it con- 
tained the germs of a great revolution. It reduced 

Relation . B 

between the the episcopate to a subordinate position. No doubt 

archbishops . , . , . . . . _ 

and the the bishops had been subordinate to Elizabeth. But 

there was an immense difference between submission 

to a queen delicately sensitive to the currents of lay opinion, 


and submission to an Archbishop who treated lay opinion with 

For three years, beginning with 1634, Sir Nathaniel Brent, 
Laud's Vicar-General, went through the length and breadth of 
Brent's England south of the Trent, calling the clergy and 
progress. {frg churchwardens to account, correcting disorders, 
and, at the worst, ordering the prosecution of the offenders in 
the Court of High Commission. 

The answer made by members of the Chapter of Salisbury 
Cathedral may serve as an example of the ordinary irregularities 
visitation of mto which corporate bodies are apt to fall for want 
Salisbury. o f a d e q ua t e supervision. They acknowledged that 
they had often neglected to preach in the cathedral, as they 
were bound by their rules to do ; that they were frequently ab- 
sent from their duties, without any diminution of the revenue 
assigned them on condition of residence ; that they usually 
presented themselves to such benefices in their gift as fell 
vacant, and that one of their number had sold such a benefice 
for yo/. ; that the choristers had not been well instructed in 
singing ; that in the churchyard there were some houses and 
sheds which had long been there, though their gardens had 
recently been extended at the expense of the churchyard ; and 
that of late years the church had been pestered with movable 
seats by which many were prevented from hearing, and the 
preacher was troubled with the noise of persons coming into 
them, whilst there were some fixed seats, not uniform in height, 
by which 'the beauty of the church' was 'much blemished.' 
There were further and more special complaints that the orna- 
ments of the altar were deficient, and that the clergy did not 
wear their square caps. 1 

A few extracts from Brent's report to the Archbishop in 
1635 will serve to display still further the character of the 
Visitation. "At Norwich," he writes, "the cathedral 
reports, church is much out of order. The hangings of the 
Norwich. c h o i r are naught, the pavement not good, the spire 
of the steeple is quite down, the copes are fair but want 

1 House of Lords MSS., Hist. MSS. Commission, iv. 128. 

1635 BRENTS REPORT. 109 

mending. The churchyard is very ill kept ; . . . there is like- 
wise a window that letteth smoke and casteth ill savour into 
the north side of the church. Many ministers appeared without 
priests' cloaks, and some of them are suspected of noncon- 
formity, but they carried themselves so warily that nothing 
could then be proved against them. The mayor and his 
brethren came not to visit me at my coming in. Afterwards I 
convented them for walking indecently in the cathedral church 
in prayer time before the sermon, and I admonished them to 
forbear for the future, and an act was made of it in their 
presence. After this they visited me often, and gave me ample 
satisfaction for their former neglect, protesting that they will 
always be ready to desire your Grace's good opinion of them." 
At Swaffham there were few Puritans, 'but much 
drunkenness, accompanied with all such vices as 
usually do attend upon it.' At Lynn, 'since the 
Court of High Commission took in hand some of 
their schismatics, few of that fiery spirit ' remained there or in 
the parts thereabout ; but there were divers Papists who spoke 
'scandalously of the Scriptures and of our religion.' The three. 
churches were well kept, except that at St. Margaret's 'the 
communion-table wanted a rail, and at the upper end of the 
choir, instead of divine sentences of Scriptures, divers sayings 
out of the Fathers were painted.' In these parts 'divers 
parsonage-houses had been ruined and much glebe land ' was 
'embezzled.' At Fakenham an excommunicated 

Fakenham. j , cc . j 

vicar continued to officiate, and many parsonage- 
houses were in a ruinous state. At Yarmouth, where 
Yarmouth. had Deen m uch contention about Church 

matters, the town was quiet, and the chief persons promised 
' absolute obedience to the laws of the Church.' The magis- 
trates, however, desired a lecturer, but objected to leave the 
choice of one to the Archbishop. At Bungay one of the 
churches was 'ruinous.' The Curate of Rumborough 'was 
charged with divers points of inconformity,' but 'renounced all 
upon his oath, and ' promised to read the Declaration of Sports. 
' Mr. Daines, lecturer at Beccles, a man of more than seventy 
years of age, did never wear the surplice nor use the cross in 


baptism.' Brent was ' told that all the bishops there had 
tolerated him, because he ' was ' a very quiet and honest man.' 

He now 'promised reformation.' At Ipswich Brent 
IPSWIC . was rece i ve( j by t h e magistrates with great solemnity. 
"The town," he wrote, "is exceeding factious, and yet the 
better sort are conformable in. a reasonable good measure. I 
ordered many things in the churches and churchyards. I 
suspended one Mr. Cave, a precise minister of St Helen's, for 
giving the sacrament of the Eucharist to non-kneelants. I 
excommunicated divers churchwardens in that town who were 
so precif j that they would not take their oath ; but afterwards 
they all submitted, with protestation to reform their opinions, 
and many do believe that a good reformation will follow. I 
hear that in these parts there are some that do teach that none 
have right to the creatures but the godly. But those who 
complained either could not or would not tell their names. 
There is but one hospital in this town, and that very well 

governed." At Stamford ' the church was ' not well 

kept, but the minister and people very conformable. 
The ministers were generally in priests' cloaks, and they, with 
the laity, were all the time of divine service uncovered, and 
still bowed at the pronouncing of the blessed name of Jesus.' 
At Oundle the schoolmaster was admonished ' for instructing 
his scholars out of a wrong catechism, and for expounding the 
Ten Commandments unto them out of the writings of a silenced 
minister.' He also refused 'to bow at the name of Jesus.' 
Order was therefore ' taken for his suspension in case ' of his 
persistent refusal. 

It is needless to peruse Brent's diary further. Everywhere 
the care for the material fabrics of the churches is mixed up 

with the care for conformity. Other documents of 
church the time reveal much the same state of things as that 

which confronts us in the report of the Vicar-General. 
Sometimes there were cases of direct spoliation of Church 
property. At Wimborne, for instance, where 5oo/. a year had 
been assigned by Queen Elizabeth for the maintenance of the 

1 It was here that Vicars had given offence. See Vol. VII. p. 253. 


Grammar School, only 150/1 was paid, the remainder being 
fraudulently appropriated by the governors. ' At Louth, of an 
income of 4oo/. a year belonging to the Free School, the school- 
master received no more than 2o/. At Saxby, Lord Castleton's 
bailiff was found using the middle aisle of the church as a place 
for melting the lead which he had stripped from the roof. Some 
of this lead ran through the floor into a coffin beneath. In 
order to recover the metal, the bailiff took up the floor and 
burnt the coffin, together with the corpse which it contained. 2 
In the North, one Robert Brandling, being charged with 
adulteries, incest, and other impious profanations, turned the 
key of the church door upon the Ecclesiastical Court convened 
to try him, and kept the members of it close prisoners till he 
chose to let them out. 3 After this it is little to hear that the 
Buckinghamshire gentry, John Hampden amongst them, se- 
lected the churchyards as the fittest places in which to muster 
the trained bands of the county. 4 

Such cases as these offer no difficulty. If Laud had con- 
fined himself to taking care that the outward fabrics and the 
.property of the Church were treated with respect, and that both 
clergy and laity abstained from embezzling money entrusted to 
them for definite purposes, he would have met with no oppo- 
sition of which he need have been afraid. 

It was more difficult to know how to deal with clerical non- 
conformity. Many instances which come before us are mere 
Various cases of brawling. Dr. Dennison, for instance, the 
aspects of Curate of St. Catharine Cree, was accustomed to 

formity, enliven his sermons by personal abuse of his pa- 
rishioners, comparing them to 'frogs, hogs, dogs, and devils.' 
Anthony Lapthorne, Rector of Tretire in Herefordshire, 
seldom read the Litany except in Lent, and when he reached 
the Psalms or the Lessons would go up at once into the pulpit, 

1 State of the school of Wimborne, June 22, 1635, S. P. Dom. 
ccxci. 28. 

2 Note by the Chancellor of Lincoln, July 14, 1634, ibid, cclxxi. 

* Morton to Windebank, May 24, 1634, ibid, cclxviii. 63. 
4 Brent to Farmery, Oct. 27, 1634, ibid, cclxxvi. 35. 


omitting the rest of the service. In his sermon he frequently 
reviled some of his congregation in the presence of strangers 
whom he had invited to hear him, and whom he asked to assist 
him in praying out the devils with which his own parishioners 
were possessed. He spoke of the clergy generally in disre- 
spectful terms, and those of his own neighbourhood he called 
idle shepherds, dumb dogs, and soul-murderers. Francis 
Abbot, vicar of Poslingford in Suffolk, broke off the service 
to bring a form from the end of the church, and pulled three 
men violently off it He was accustomed to point to someone 
or another of his congregation whenever he mentioned any 
particular sin. At Brigstock in Northamptonshire, a clergyman 
named Price scarcely ever read the Litany or the Command- 
ments. In reading the Scriptures he omitted the name of 
Jesus, lest the people should take occasion to bow. He left 
infants unbaptized, and administered the communion to persons 
sitting. He refused to read the Declaration of Sports, stopping 
his ears whilst it was being read by the clerk. He locked the 
door upon his congregation, and kept them in church to hear 
him preach till dark. 1 John Workman, a lecturer at Gloucester, 
preached that every step taken in dancing was a step towards 
hell ; that it was little better than flat idolatry to possess the 
picture of the Saviour ; that the election of ministers properly 
belonged to the people ; that drunkards and debauchees who 
conformed were thought capable of ecclesiastical promotion, 
whilst others of higher merits were passed by. 2 

It is plain from these instances that Laud would have no 
difficulty in finding objects for the exercise of his reforming 

zeal. Unrestricted licence to the clergyman to select 
1034. * 

HOW far was what prayers he chooses, and to use what language 
ferenceTus- r " he chooses in the pulpit, is sheer tyranny over his 
congregation, as long as that congregation is com 
pdled by law to attend upon his ministrations, and is also 
debarred by law from exercising any restraint upon his words 

1 High Commission Act Book, S. P. Dom. cclxi. 83, 121, 282 b, 
cclxxx. 54. 

* Ibid, cclxi. 206. For refutation of the ordinary belief that the High 
Commission suspended and deprived clergymen in shoals, see the Appendix. 


and Actions. It might be a question whether the whole eccle- 
siastical constitution ought to be changed or not, just as it 
might be a question whether the whole political constitution 
ought to be changed or not ; but as long as either existed it 
was the plain duty of archbishop or king to see that the general 
interests of the people were not sacrificed to the self-will of 
persons in office in Church or State. Yet even if Laud had 
done no more than to put a stop to exhibitions of rudeness or 
ill-temper, he would probably have given unnecessary offence 
by his refusal to recognise the legitimacy of the maintenance 
of the opinion from which this unjustifiable coarseness of ex- 
pression sometimes sprung. He was on still more dangerous 
ground in striking at practices which sprang not merely from 
the subversive Puritanism which aimed at the abolition of 
existing institutions, but at those which symbolised the Pro- 
testantism which was dear to the heart of the nation. In so 
doing he brought himself into collision not merely with a special 
form of doctrine, but with that instinctive conservatism which 
clings to habits of action, and which bitterly resents sudden and 
abrupt interference with usage, whether it comes in the shape of 
premature anticipation of the new, or of antiquarian reproduc- 
tion of the old. 

Laud's enormous mistake was that he took no account 
whatever of this conservative feeling. He appealed in all 
He despises things to the law, and to the law alone. It was 
va e tive n ^- r nothing to him that the law had been drawn up half 
stinct. a century or a century before, at a time when the 

temper of men's minds was very different from what it had 
become in his own day. In his reasonable dislike of a system 
His super- which would take the mere self-will of a population, 
reverence ^ ts ignorance, its avarice, and its irreverence as the 
for the law. basis of government, he refused to take its wishes 
and habits into account at all. If the law was broken, however 
obsolete it might be, it was his duty to see that it was carried out. 
With the best intentions of preserving the im- 

Difficultyof ,. ... ... . , . ., . r 

applying its partiality of his judgment, it would be impossible for 

Laud to act in this way with complete impartiality. 

No man ever succeeds in drawing out of the storehouses of 



accumulated law only that which he finds there. He enters 
upon the search equipped with his own habits of thought 
and his own sense of the relative importance of all that he 
finds. He leaves much behind him, if he carries more away, 
and even that which he has found is modified in passing 
through his mind. How could Laud himself, the least impartial 
of men, fail in converting the law which he vindicated into an 
engine of oppression ? Was he not certain to throw undue 
weight upon all that coincided with his own views, and to shut 
his eyes to all that made against them ? 

In this is probably to be found the explanation of the order 

which Laud gave to Brent to direct that the communion-tables 

should everywhere be removed to the east end of 

Order for the * 

removal of the churches, and should be fenced in by a railing to 

the com- . . / 

munion- secure them against profanation. 1 The order, as 
Laud always professed, was given for the sake of 
decency. Men were no longer to have the opportunity of 
scribbling on the table, putting their hats on it, or sitting upon 
it. The legality of the order was, however, to say the least of it, 
doubtful, and those who objected to it would be able to assert 
that it was only enforced in consequence of the personal decision 
of the King in the case of St. Gregory's, and of the personal 
interference of the Archbishop \sith the ordinary jurisdiction of 
the bishops. Everybody who could read the canon under 
which Laud issued the order could see that a movable table 
was contemplated, and it was difficult to deny that if the existing 
practice of a fixed table in the centre of the church was illegal, 
the new practice of a fixed table at the east end was also illegal. 
The question of the position of the table was of little im- 
portance except so far as it served to indicate the 

Significance ...... , , . 

of the religious feelings 01 those who gathered round it, or 

of those who had authority over the worshippers. It 

would be impossible to choose a belter symbol of the victory of 

1 Heylyn, Cypr. Angl. 269. The evidence of Williams that commu- 
nion-tables were not usually placed at the east end in country churches 
has already been given (Vol. VII. p. 18). Laud himself says much the 
same thing : ' And though it stood in most parish churches rhe other way,' 
&.C, Speech at the censure of Bast wick and others, Works, vi. 59. 


one set of ideas over another. The table standing in the centre 
of the church indicates a body of worshippers who gather round 
it to perform only one amongst other acts of devotion. The 
table standing at the east end indicates that they are to approach 
with special reverence an act of extraordinary importance. The 
one arrangement points distinctly in a Protestant, the other in 
a Catholic direction. 

Of course it would be ridiculous to deduce all the religious 
opposition which followed from this single change. Interference 
in all directions gave rise to irritation in all directions. Yet 
the removal of the communion-table undoubtedly gave special. 
offence as bringing visibly home to all the conviction that 
Laud had entered upon a path which, as a large part of the 
population firmly believed, led directly to Rome a belief which 
was strengthened by the knowledge that though the practice of 
bowing towards the east upon entering a church was not gene- 
rally enforced, the Archbishop favoured its introduction, and 
even compelled its observance where, as was the case in many 
cathedrals, it was enjoined either by ancient statutes handed 
down from the Middle Ages, or by new statutes compiled, as 
happened at Canterbury, under his own directions. 1 

It would be going too far to speak of the opposition roused 

as universal. In Elizabeth's time conformity had been a matter 

of theory rather than of practice, and there were 

The offence 111' / -, i- i i 

given not doubtless not a few parishes which slipped quietly 

unwersa. from the old ^^ lo the new ^ and in ^ich the table 

had never been moved from its original position in the chancel. 
In other parishes there may have been many who, without wel- 
coming the change, did not feel called upon to express any 
special indignation, and there must have been a still larger 
number of persons who, disliking what was done, were never- 
theless unwilling to expose themselves to the risk of resistance 
to authority. 

1 At Canterbury the rule introduced was : " Singuli vero cujuscunque 
fuerint gradus aut ordinis in ingressu chori divinam majestatem devota 
mente adorantes humiliter se inclinabunt versus altare (prout anticjuis 
quarandam ecclesiarum statutis cautum novimus) et deiode conveisi 
decano quoque debitam reverentiam exhibebant." 

I 2 


In the diocese of London the change had been enforced 
by Laud before his accession to the archbishopric. It is 
evident from the few examples which are available that the 
opposition raised, important as it was, was the opposition of a 
minority. In the parish of St. Margaret's, Lothbury, for in- 
stance, the change was effected by one of the churchwardens, 

with the consent of the majority of a hesitating 
Chauncey at vestry. 1 At Ware, again, where the conduct of the 

vicar, Charles Chauncey, had already been under ex- 
amination by the High Commission, the churchwardens sum- 
moned a meeting of the parishioners, and with the consent 
of the majority removed the table and railed it in. The vicar 
objected strongly, declared that he would never administer the 
communion until the table was restored to its old place, and 
resigned his benefice rather than break his word. The parish 
was rent into two factions, and the one opposed to the change 

invited Chauncey to return to Ware to head them 

against the new vicar, who had declared himself a 
follower of the Laudian school. Chauncey accepted the in- 
vitation, and inveighed publicly against the innovation as a 
snare to the conscience and an invitation to a breach of the 
Second Commandment. He was accordingly brought before 
the High Commission, and forced to sign a. humble form of 
regret for his behaviour, including an acknowledgment that he 
was now persuaded that kneeling at the reception of the Com- 
munion was a lawful and commendable gesture, and that the rail, 
round the table at Ware was a decent and convenient ornament. 2 
It was not always that the majority of the parishioners could 
be induced to concur in making the change. Bishop Pierce 

of Bath and Wells, who had led the attack upon 
Case of' the impugners of the Somersetshire wakes, was now 
Beckington. foremost in the remO val of the tables. The church- 
wardens of Beckington resolutely refused to obey, and were 
excommunicated by the Bishop for their refusal They ap- 

1 Paper reid by Mr. Freshfield before the Society of Antiquaries, 
March 26, 1876. 

2 High Commission Act Book, Nov. 26, 1635; Feb. u, 1636, S. P. 
Dom. cclxi. 298 b, cccxxiv. 5. Prynne, Caul. Doom t 94. 


pealed in vain to the Court of Arches, and a petition to Laud 
ior relief naturally remained without effect. A petition to 

1636 , the King was equally fruitless. The churchwardeas 

16 37 . were thrown into prison as excommunicated persons. 
There they remained for a year, and were only released on 
engaging to acknowledge publicly in Beckington church, andl 
in two other churches of the diocese, that they had grievously 
offended the Divine Majesty of Almighty God and the laws 
ecclesiastical of the realm. l 

Laud had his way. Parish after parish submitted more or 
less willingly to his command ; but in the minds of thousands 
of peaceful law-abiding men there grew up an en- 
dangerous during sense of wrong a fixed belief that, as in the 
case of ship-money, that was being promulgated as 
law which was not law, and that, under the cloak of providing 
for decency, an effort was being made to bring England back, 
as soon as an opportunity occurred, beneath the Papal yoke. 
These men might be but a minority amongst the population, 
but they were an energetic and intelligent minority, and they 
would soon be reinforced by those who cared little for religious 
changes, but who on various grounds objected to the payment 
of ship-money. A combination between those who are in 
earnest about preserving their accustomed forms of worship, 
and those who are in earnest about keeping their money in 
their pockets, is one which no Government can afford to 

Great as was the offence which Laud gave by strictness in 

enforcing the one-sided interpretation of the law which, in his 

1634. eyes, stood in the place of the law itself, he perhaps 

His unsym- gave quite as much offence by the hard and unsym- 

pathising * 

nature. pathising temper with which he approached those 
whose views of life differed from his own. Without geniality 
himself he could not appreciate geniality in others, and he 
required that all men should so frame their speech as to avoid 
shattering that delicate framework of ceremony and discipline 
over which he was so anxiously watching. The principle from 
which he started, of allowing freedom of thought without free- 
1 Prynne, Cant. Doom, 97. 


dom of speech, was bearing its bitter fruits. Speech was 
bursting forth on every side, no longer against an abstract 
theological doctrine, but against the very edifice which he was 
building up, and which threatened to catch fire on every side 
before he could tread out the sparks by which it was en- 

No better evidence can be found of the real weakness of 

Laud's position than his treatment of Samuel Ward of Ipswich. 

Placed for many years in a county distinguished by 

Samuel . _ . , . TTr , , } . 

Ward, of its strong Puritan leanings, Ward had gamed the ear 
of his fellow-townsmen by his earnestness and sin- 
cerity as well as by his excellence as a preacher. He declared 
the Puritan gospel, but he was content to accept the Prayer- 
book as it stood, and was thoroughly loyal to the institutions 
,626. of his country in Church and State. Even in the 
His loyalty. m i(Jst of the violent outcry against Buckingham 
which was almost universal in the first years of the reign, he 
preserved his respect for the King's minister, and was able to 
declare with a safe conscience that ' in the midst of vulgar 
rumours ' he had ' prayed heartily for his prosperity.' J 

Laud's proceedings in the diocese of London gave the first 
shock to Ward's feelings. The strict inquiry into the observ- 
ance of forms without a corresponding interest in 
His feeling the manifestations of spiritual life seemed to him of 
ianges> evil augury. In 1633 we hear of Ward's 'melancholy 
fits'; 2 whilst he is charged by an adversary with preaching 
against set forms of prayer, and with suggesting to 
his congregation the possibility of an alteration of 
religion. 3 The charge, as would appear from subsequent pro- 
ceedings, was wholly or in part exaggerated, and it is possible 
that a desire to clear himself from these imputations may have 
had something to do with the fact that he undertook about this 
time the prosecution before the High Commission of three 
persons charged with antinomian opinions. 4 If so the penalty 

1 Ward to Nicholas, Oct. 1626, .9. P. Dom. xxxviii. 20. 

* Peters to Phelips, June 26, 1633, ibid, ccxii. 52. 

* Dod to Laud, Feb. 4, 1634, ibid. cclx. 17. 

4 High Commission Act Book, Oct. 30, 1634, S. /'. Dom. cc/xii. 105. 

1634 WARD OF IPSWICH. 119 

for his offence followed sharply on its commission. In No- 
November vem ^ er x ^34 he was summoned before the Council, 
He is prose- and that body ordered proceedings to be taken against 

cutedinthe . ' . . , 

High Com- him m the High Commission. 1 

Passages culled by hostile eagerness from a series 
of sermons spread over a long course of years, and related from 
memory, might easily he brought to show that Ward was hostile 
to the existing system, and even that he inspirited his hearers 
to stand on their defence against it. But it was not proved 
that he had committed any open breach of the canons of the 
Church. He had, indeed, argued that extempore prayer was 
lawful, but he had acknowledged that set forms of prayer were 
also lawful, though he had shown that he thought that ex- 
tempore prayers were better than those which were read out of 
a book. It was impossible, he had said, for anyone to carry 
about with him a manual of prayer which would be suitable for 
all occasions. He had even declared that a parrot might be 
instructed to repeat set forms, and that an ape might be taught 
to bow and gesticulate. Then had come an expression of 
belief that the Church was ready to ring the changes in matter 
of discipline. There had been more of the same sort, and 
though he denied that his words were correctly reported, or that 
even when correctly reported, they were incapable of a favourable 
explanation, there can be no doubt that he had used expressions 
derogatory to the ceremonial worship which was being imposed 
upon the Church. 2 As he refused to acknowledge the truth of 
the charges against him in the form laid down for him to sign, 
though he was willing to admit that the Court was justified in 
Ward's sentencing him by the evidence before it, he was sent 
sentence. j o prison as contumacious. His congregation, hav- 
ing received from the bishop of the diocese permission to ap- 
point a minister in his place, refused for some time to take 
advantage of the privilege, and after his death in 1640, con- 
tinued to his widow and eldest son the payment which they had 
been accustomed to make to himself. 

1 Council Register, Nov. 7. High Commission Act Book, S. P. Daw. 
cclxi. 124 b. 

* The papers relating to this case have been printed in the Preface of 
Bruce's Calendar of Domestic State Papers ', 1635-6. 


The proceedings against Ward are of special interest as in- 
dicating the limit to which the Court of High Commission was 
importance prepared to go. No one who has studied its records 
of the case. w jjj speak o f ft as a barbarous or even as a cruel 
tribunal. Its chief characteristic was its fixity of aim, and the 
resoluteness with which disobedience to its orders was over- 
come, though not without considerable moderation in the 
treatment of individual offenders who showed an inclination 
to give way before the pressure put upon them. It now ap- 
peared that the court of which Laud was the soul would not 
be content with obedience. At least in public there must be 
no criticism of the system which it imposed upon the clergy. 
Such a result was hut the logical consequence of Laud's con- 
ception of a Church. If the living spiritual forces moving in 
the hearts of men were not to be taken into account, a clergy- 
man could no more be permitted to call in question the rules 
under which he lived than a colonel can be permitted to call 
in question the regulations of the army in the face of his regi- 
ment. It was because this conception was in itself a false one, 
not because the mode in which it was carried out was harsh 
and tyrannical, that Laud went astray. His system left no 
place for the infinite varieties of the human mind, and looked 
with horror upon the irregular action of individual life. The 
pulsations of the religious heart of England were too vigorous 
to be thus controlled. They called for a form of discipline 
more flexible, and less restricted to the expression of a single 
mood. Orderly freedom of speech and thought was the only 
remedy for the disease from which the English Church was 
suffering, and unfortunately Laud was never able to compre- 
hend that freedom was more than another name for disorder. 

Such a man, in such a position, needed to be constantly 

on the watch. The edifice which he was rearing was of so 

artificial a character that he dared not withdraw his 


The foreign eye from it for an instant He had recently brought 
churches. ^jg aut h or fty to bear on the Presbyterianism of Eng- 
lish merchants and English soldiers residing in the Netherlands, 
lest the contamination should spread to their native countn. 
He now brought his authority to bear on foreigners resident in 


England. Elizabeth had made no scruple in permitting the 
industrious French and Dutch refugees who fled from the axe 
and faggot to worship God in their own language and in their 
own fashion, and neither she nor James had interfered with their 
children because they continued to use the form of prayer to 
which their fathers had been accustomed in the land of their 
birth. Laud thought otherwise. He announced indeed his 
intention of permitting those persons who had been born 
abroad to continue to prav in their own language in churches 
of their own, provided that they consented to employ a trans- 
lation of the English Prayer-book ; but he held that their sons 
and daughters, born in England, were clearly English, and 
he announced to them that they would be expected to attend 
the parish church. 1 In vain the Englishmen amongst whom 
these children of a foreign race were settled pleaded earnestly 
in their favour. In vain they themselves petitioned for mercy. 2 
Their deputies applied to Pembroke to admit them to the 

presence of the King, that they might assure him of 
3: " their loyalty. Pembroke, Lord Chamberlain as he 
was, did not venture to introduce them to the Royal presence, 
and they were obliged to content themselves with offering their 
petition to Charles on his way from chapel. The King took 
the petition, and handed it to Pembroke. All that was gained 
was the revocation of the order for the use of the English 
Prayer-book so far as those were concerned who had been 
born abroad. No excuse was admitted on behalf of those who 
were born in England. 3 

Few governments would fall if they contented themselves 

with attacking onlv the devoted and the intelligent 

General . 

irritation But it is seldom that a government sufficiently blind 

caused by .... ..... 

Laud's pio- to throw itselt athwart the aims of the devoted and 
intelligent is clearsighted enough to spare the weak- 
ness and prejudices of the mass of mankind. It is possible 

1 Minute of proceedings at Canterbury, Dec. 19, 1634, .S. P. Dom. 
cclxxviii. 63. 2 Prynne, Cant. Doom, 403. 

3 Heylyn, Cypr. Angl. 263. Joachimi to the States-General, Feb. '--J 
Add. MSS. 17,677 O, fol. 287. Sonnner to Dell, April 14, S. P. Dom. 
cclxxxvi. 85. 


that Laud might have carried his point of reducing the clergy 
to discipline if he had left the laity alone. It is possible that 
he might have succeeded in meting out equal law to the rich 
and poor if he had left the Puritan clergy to worship according 
to their conscience. As it was, he irritated all classes in turn. 
Attitude of More especially were the country gentlemen annoyed 
the clergy, ty th e attitude of superiority assumed by the clergy. 
Hitherto the rector or the vicar of the parish had not ventured 
to hold up his head in the presence of the county families. It 
was well for him if they did not cheat him of his rights, en- 
croach upon his income, or deprive him of the means of main- 
taining his church in repair. The clergyman of the parish now 
found himself exalted to a dignity to which he had been un- 
accustomed. He was the guardian of the morals of his parish, 
whose business it was to enforce ecclesiastical rules on the 
laity, to see that they did not eat meat in Lent without a 
certificate, nor send their carts across the churchyard. In 
any difference between the clergyman and the squire, the 
clergyman knew that he was certain of a favourable hearing 
with the archbishop, and that there would be a presumption at 
Whitehall that he was in the right and his opponent in the 
wrong. When the Government needed information upon which 
it could depend, it was increasingly in the habit of applying to 
the bishop or the rector, and of framing its action in conformity 
with the information which it thus obtained. The country gentle- 
men had long been made to feel that they were overshadowed 
by the officers of the Crown. They were now made to feel that 
they were overshadowed by the incumbents of their own parishes. 
The feeling thus engendered served to intensify the morti- 
fication caused by the impartial strictness of the Ecclesiastical 
Gentlemen Courts. Clarendon's description of Laud tells but 
HfTcon- P art f the trut h> as h e shrinks from admitting that 
mission. the Archbishop's unpopularity arose in any way from 
his antagonism to men of high religious principle. But as far 
as it goes, it is drawn from the life. " He did court persons 
too little," wrote Clarendon, "nor cared to make his designs 
and purposes appear as candid l as they were, by shewing 
1 i.f, as white or pure. 


them in any other dress than their own natural beauty and 
roughness ; and did not consider enough what men said, or 
were like to say of him. If the faults and vices were fit to be 
looked into and discovered, let the persons be who they would 
that were guilty of them, they were sure to find no connivance 
or favour from him. He intended the discipline of the Church 
should be felt as well as spoken of, and that it should be ap- 
plied to the greatest and most splendid transgressors, as well as 
to the punishment of smaller offences and meaner offenders ; 
and thereupon called for or cherished the discovery of those 
who were not careful to cover their own iniquities, thinking 
they were above the reach of other men, or their power or will 
to chastise. Persons of honour and great quality, of the Court 
and of the country, were every day cited into the High Com- 
mission Court upon the fame of their incontinence or other 
scandal in their lives, and were there prosecuted to their shame 
and punishment ; and as the shame which they called the 
insolent triumph upon their degree and quality, and levelling 
them with the common people was never forgotten, but 
watched for revenge, so the fines imposed were the more 
questioned and repined against, because they were assigned to 
the rebuilding and repairing St. Paul's Church, and thought 
therefore to be the more severely imposed and less compassion - 
ately reduced and excused." ' Such is Clarendon's picture of 
a man bravely combating evil combating too, alas, many 
things which were not evil at all except in his own imagination. 
Other causes of dissatisfaction were at work. A book which 
issued from the press in 1635 did much to strengthen the im 
pression left by the Archbishop's proceedings. She!- 
jf>eDit- ford's Fire Discourses 2 can hardly be said to have 


gone beyond the limits imposed by the English 
Church. But in reproving the unbecoming irreverence of his 
Suffolk parishioners, the author spoke in words which must 
have given offence to others besides the men who brought their 
dogs into the church, discussed the price of oxen in their 
pews, and expected their servants to interrupt their prayers m 

1 Clarendon, i. 106. 

2 Five' pious and learned Discourses, Cambridge, 1633. 


order to stand up to do them reverence as they passed. The 
verses prefixed by Crashaw, a young Cambridge poet who was 
as yet but pluming his wings for a higher flight, were full of 
defiant scorn of those who resisted the change which had come 
over the outward form of the churches. He boasts that now 

' God's services no longer shall put on 
Pure sluttishness for pure religion. 

No more the hypocrite shall upright be, 
Because he's stiff, and will confess no knee.' 

Crashaw had caught the tone of the book to which his verses 
formed a prelude. It was better that the Suffolk boor of higher 
or lower degree should bow his head and bend his knee than 
that he should regard the church as a house built for his own 
recreation ; but it was not well that one who was labouring to 
rouse his parishioners to reverence should cast the same scorn 
upon those to whom the very thought, was unknown, and upon 
those to whom the visible was but a hindrance to the uplifting 
of the heart in the presence of the invisible. 

The mischief which men like Shelford were doing can only 
be appreciated in turning to the reminiscences of such a man 
Baxter's re- as Richard Baxter. Baxter distinctly asserts that till 
juiniscences. J^Q h e < k new no t one Presbyterian, clergyman nor 
lay, and but three or four nonconforming ministers.' He de- 
scribes the mass of men almost exactly as Shelford describes 
them. " The generality," he says, " seemed to mind nothing 
seriously but the body and the world ; they went to church 
and would answer the parson in responds, and then go to 
dinner, and then to play ; they never prayed in their families, 
but some of them going to bed would say over the Creed, and 
the Lord's Prayer, and some of them Hail Mary : all the year 
long, not a serious word of holy things, or the life to come, 
that I could hear of, proceeded from them. They read not 
the Scripture, nor any good book or catechism. Few of them 
could read, or had a Bible." l Shelford's remedy for this was 

1 Baxter, The true History of Councils, 90. 


to inculcate outward icverence in the hope that inward rever- 
ence would follow, and thus to draw on the soul by the study 
of the Bible, of good books, and by the listening to devout and 
godly conversation. Baxter's remedy was to quicken their souls 
to a higher life by telling them of the Saviour's love. In 1635 
Baxter was but in his twentieth year. He was the spiritual 
child of Sibbes, whose Bruised Reed had, after many a struggle, 
taught him to know his life's work. To the Puritan love of 
logical precision he joined a flexibility of moral imagination 
which hindered him from seeing the world entirely through the 
spectacles of fallible ratiocination. He could hold the doctrine 
of conversion without thinking it necessary to fix the hour and 
the minute of the new birth, and he could hold the main Cal- 
vinistic theories without thinking it necessary to break even yet 
with the Church of which he aspired to be a minister. The 
description which he gives of those who were taunted as Puri- 
tans was doubtless a fair description of himself. " The other 
sort," he says, "were such as had their consciences awakened 
to some regard of God and their everlasting state ; and accord- 
ing to the various measures of their understanding, did speak 
and live as serious in the Christian faith, and would much en- 
quire what was duty and what was sin, and how to please God 
and to make sure of salvation ; and made this their business 
and interest, as the rest did the world. . . . They used to pray 
in their families, and alone ; some on the book, and some 
without ; they would not swear nor curse, nor take God's name 
lightly. They feared all known sin. They would go to the 
next parish church to hear a sermon when they had none at 
their own ; would read the Scripture on the Lord's day when 
others were playing. There were, where I lived, about the 
number of two or three families in twenty ; and these by the 
rest were called Puritans, and derided as hypocrites and pre- 
cisians, that would take upon them to be holy ; and especially 
if they told anyone of his swearing, drunkenness, or ungodli- 
ness, they were made the common scorn. Yet not one of many 
of them ever scrupled conformity to bishops, liturgy, or cere- 
monies, and it was godly conformable ministers that they 
went from home to hear ; and these ministers being the ablest 


preachers, and of more serious piety, were also the objects of 
the vulgar obloquy as Puritans and precisians themselves, and 
accordingly spoke against by many of their tribe, and envied for 
being preferred by godly men." l 

In throwing scorn upon such men as these the Laudian 
clergy were but echoing the voices of the profligate and thought- 
less crowd. It was by the mocking gibes of men like Shelford 
and Crashaw that the Puritans were alienated even more than 
by the removal of the communion-table or the reverential 
gestures of some of the clergy. Men like Baxter were estranged, 
too, by the want of moral earnestness which often lay behind the 
fiercest polemical display. At the end of 1634, a few months 

i6>t after the execution of the Star Chamber sentence upon 
Baxter at Prynne, he found himself at Charles's Court. He 
had come thither in hopes of preferment, being urged 
by his parents to seek some more ambitious walk of life than 
that of a minister. For a month he remained in the house of 
Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels. " But," he says, 
" I had quickly enough of the Court ; when I saw a stage-play 
instead of a sermon on the Lord's days in the afternoon, and 
saw what course was there in fashion, and heard little preaching 
but what was as to one part against the Puritans, I was glad to 
be gone." 2 

After his return home came his first questionings about con- 
formity. " Till this time," he writes, " I was satisfied in the 

i6 matter of conformity ; whilst I was young I had never 

First ques- been acquainted with any that were against it, or that 
aCu s questioned it. I had joined with the Common 
nity> Prayer with as hearty fervency as after I did with 
other prayers. As long as I had no prejudice against it, 1 had 
no stop in my devotions from any of its imperfections. At 
last, at about twenty years of age, I became acquainted with 
Mr. Simmonds, Mr. Cradock, and other very zealous godly 
nonconformists in Shrewsbury and the adjoining parts, whose 
fervent prayers and savoury conference and holy lives did 
profit me much ; and when I understood they were people 
prosecuted by the bishops, I found much prejudice arise in my 
1 History of Councils, 91. * Life, II. 


heart against those that persecuted them, and thought those 
that silenced and troubled such men could not be the genuine 
followers of the Lord of love." l 

If Shelford but interpreted one side of the teaching of his 
Church, Anthony Stafford went far beyond it. His Female 

Glory was a biography of the Virgin, pieced out with 
Female legendary and imaginative details. To the Puritan, 

and, it may fairly be said, to the Protestant, the book 
was repulsive, as ascribing honour only short of divine to a 
created being. Nor is it less objectionable from the self-con- 
scious prudishness 2 of the character held up as a model of 
excellence beyond the reach of human imitation. 

The knowledge that such a book had passed the licenser's 
hands might easily minister food to the growing belief that the 
Growingfear Archbishop's energy of interference could only be 
of Rome. explained by a settled purpose of leading England in 
chains to the feet of the Pope. The suspicion was entirely un- 
founded. Laud was too serenely and imperturbably assured of 
the strength of his own position to look elsewhere for authority 
and support. There were, however, others who felt less secure 
of their ground, and opened their ears gladly to the teaching of 
the emissaries of Rome. 

Of those who were influenced in this direction a few may 
have regarded the Anglican ceremonies as too bald or too stiff 

for purposes of devotion ; but the greater part sought 
oftheCatho- a refuge from the burden of conscientious inquiry, 
he priests. e j t h er because they honestly preferred peace of mind 
to the agitation of doubt, or because they asked for some 

1 Lift, 13- 

2 The word is surely justifiable in face of the passage commenting on 
the words of the Annunciation : "And when she saw him, she was troubled 
al his saying, and thought what manner of salutation that should be." It 
is this: "She saw herself alone with one altogether a stranger to her, 
whose face she neither knew nor his intent. True it is his language was 
smooth and even ; but as fair words as these have often proceeded from a 
foul heart. She trembled at the salutation, thinking him to be a man sub- 
iect to abhorred lust, and therefore violence." Compare this with 
the slowness with which the Isabella of Measure for Measure discovers that 
the is actually in the presence of a tempter. 


assurance of salvation in another world which would dispense 
them from the necessity of following in the present life the 
precepts common to all Christian churches. 

Nor was the English Church herself, as she appeared under 
her new rulers, free from blame. Built up in the sixteenth 
century by men who strove to reconcile breadth of intellectual 
inquiry with a conservative attachment to ancient forms and 
habits of thought, she was taking up in the seventeenth century, 
under Laud's guidance, a position altogether narrower and less 
sympathetic. The tendency to rational inquiry was dwindling 
into a contempt for the freespoken, if often ignorant, promptings 
of the heart. " A wise and discreet sermon," wrote Shelford, 
" not made by every minister, but by a man of reading and 
discretion, right well beseemeth this holy place. Preaching is 
God's mouth to His people ; therefore great care must be had 
that it be not abused either with false doctrines or unsavoury 
speeches. In this case St. Paul makes his exclamation, ' Who 
is sufficient for these things ? ' How this is regarded, none but 
the learned see. Not how well, but a sermon of the vulgar is 
expected." l If the better side of the Puritan resistance was 
its protest against this attempt to confine teaching to a learned 
oligarchy holding correct opinions, the better side of the 
Catholic resistance was its protest against Laud's overstrained 
appeal to law. If there must be uniformity, why not the uni- 
formity of Western Christendom rather than the uniformity 
of a single nation ? If the legitimacy of forms of worship was 
to be tested by their legality, why not try them by the law of 
centuries rather than by the recent legislation of Henry and 
Elizabeth ? Such questioning was hard to answer, save by 
men in whom the broader spirit of the Reformers was living. 
Neither Cranmer nor Laud were men without great virtues 
or grave faults. But whilst Cranmer's face had been turned 
steadily forward towards the future, Laud's gaze was fixed in 
contemplation of a bygone and, to some extent, an imaginary 

A ballad of the day gives voice to the increasing feeling of 

1 i.e. The vulgar do not ask whether the sermon be good ; any sermon 
pleases them. Five Disburses, 35. 

1635 THE NEW CLERGY. 129 

dislike with which the and- Puritan clergy were regarded. The 
Ballad on new churchman of the times, it was said, wore a 
the clergy, cardinal's cap as broad as the wheel of a cart, and a 
long cassock reaching to his heels. He was so hungry that he 
said but a short grace in his hurry to get to his meal, and he 
ate so much that he could not say a long grace afterwards. He 
swore no man was predestinated, and turned away his curates 
if they preached twice in a day. He hoped to be saved by 
good works, but never did any ; and on Sundays he played at 
cards and dice in order to confute the formalists. He would 
not call himself a Protestant, but only a Christian, 

" And comes out Catholic the next edition." ' 

The fear expressed in this line formed the keynote of the grow- 
ing ill-temper of the nation. It was the fault of Laud's political 
system that every conversion to the Church of Rome acquired 
an exaggerated importance. The King's supremacy in Church 
and State had received, with Laud's approbation, the widest 
interpretation. It was by the King's authority that sweeping 
changes had been effected in the Church. Why might not the 
King's authority effect more sweeping changes still ? Though 
no one as yet ventured to throw doubt on the sincerity of 
Charles's Protestantism, the Queen was an acknowledged 
Catholic, and she loved, as far as her volatile nature permitted, 
to forward the designs of Catholics. The late Lord Treasurer 
had died a Catholic, and no one knew how many of the officers 
of State were ready to follow his example. There was a spread- 
ing apprehension of danger. The English Church, it was 
thought, might at any time be the victim of a conspiracy 
carried on in the very name of the King, and there were many 
who believed that of such a conspiracy Laud was the prime 

es Diary, 79. 




THE position of the Catholics in England had been in some 
respects ameliorated since Charles's accession, and more espe- 

i6 35 . cially since his quarrel with the House of Commons. 
thTc'atho- The payments into the exchequer which, except in 
hcs. the cases of a few very wealthy persons, had been 

fixed by law at two-thirds of the rental of a recusant landowner, 
were commuted for one-third, to be paid by all who came for- 
ward voluntarily to claim the benefit of the King's offer. 1 The 
arrangement brought more money into the exchequer than had 
been brought before. The recusancy fines, which had been 
valued at 6,ooo/. a year in 1619, were valued at 20,000'. in 1635. 
The burden, however, was more generally diffused, and its 
incidence was therefore less oppressive on individuals. Many 
Catholics who had not paid before paid now, whilst some 
Catholics who had been heavily mulcted found themselves in 
a better position. At the same time a check was put upon the 
annoyance caused by the visits of pursuivants and spies. The 
petty tyranny over poorer Catholics, the seizure of household 
furniture from those who had neither lands nor houses, was 
lightened, if it did not quite come to an end. Ostensibly there 
was no relaxation of the persecuting laws against the priests, 
but except in special cases they ceased to be put in force, and 
mass was heard in secret wherever a Catholic family was de- 
sirous of the privilege. 

One circumstance made it difficult for the Catholic clergy 

1 The statement of Rushwonh that much less was taken is examined, 
and shown to be incorrect, by Lingard, vii. App. III. 


to take full advantage of their improved position. Ever since 
Divisions the end of the preceding century they had been dis- 
cathoiic the un i te d amongst themselves. On one side were the 
clergy. religious orders, of which the foremost was the busy 
and strictly disciplined Society of Jesus. On the other side 
were the more loosely organised secular clergy. At the end of 
James's reign the secular clergy had obtained from the Pope 
the appointment of a bishop to subject all the clergy in Eng- 
land to a uniform discipline. William Bishop first, and then 
William Smith, were appointed to the office, with the title of 
Bishops of Chalcedon. So bitter was the hostility of the Jesuits 
that they did not scruple to inform the Government 
Banishment of both these nominations. ' Two proclamations, one 
of chaice- P in 1628 the other in 1629, commanded the banish- 
ment of Bishop Smith. For two years he remained 
hidden in the house of the French ambassador, receiving visits 
from the Catholics who came to see him. By the end of that 
time the pressure put on him by the Jesuits had made his posi- 
,6 3I . tion untenable. In 1631 they circulated a petition to 
dr 1 ive J h?m ts t ^ ie PP e against him, which they persuaded a large 
away. number of the Catholic nobility and gentry to sign. 

If the secular priests are to be trusted, the Jesuits used the 
most nefarious means to accomplish their object. Many signa- 
tures to the petition were absolutely forged by them. Others 
were obtained by misstatements of every kind. 2 The Jesuits 
asserted that if a bishop were allowed to establish himself in 
England he would set up a jurisdiction of the most galling 
description, would take from the laity their confessors, and 
meddle with their private affairs. This petition was entrusted to 
Coloma, and soon afterwards the attempt to establish episcopal 
jurisdiction was abandoned. 

The natural desire of the Catholics to spread their religious 
The Queen's belief found support in the Queen. Her chapel in 
chapel. Somerset House was open to all who chose to visit 
it, and though restrictions were occasionally placed by the 

1 This appears with respect to Bishop from Lingard, vii. Note K K K, 
and with regard to Smith from Panzani's Relation. Atfd. M.SS. 15,^89, 
fol. 99. 2 These statements were brought to Panzani. 

K 2 


Government upon the access of visitors, she had always suffi- 
cient influence over her husband to obtain their removal. The 
Capuchins who officiated in the chapel were unwearied in visit- 
ing the sick, and in carrying the consolations of their religion 
to those who accepted their ministrations, and their zeal was 
often rewarded by conversions from Protestantism. 

All this, though shocking in the eyes of contemporary Pro- 
testants, has nothing to call for reprobation. The special danger 

which had made toleration impossible for Elizabeth 
the'catho- had passed away. The Catholics were reckoned by 

those who had the best means of judging at about 
150,000, in the midst of a population of perhaps somewhat 
less than 3,000,000. The advantage of moral and intellectual 
Their moral energy was also on the side of Protestantism, un- 
posuion. j ess j ts temper had been softened and its strength 
relaxed by the Laudian discipline. Even after making every 
allowance for the hostile medium through which our know- 
ledge is obtained, it cannot be doubted that the discord between 
the Jesuits and the secular priests worked ill for the morality of 
their flocks. It is from Catholic lips that we learn that the rules 
relating to marriage laid down by the rival fathers were hope- 
lessly inconsistent with one another, and that one side would 
treat a marriage as invalid which had been pronounced valid by 
the other. 1 Scandal was given by the light behaviour of young 
priests in their intercourse with women. It is no less clear that 
a large proportion of the conversions made were utterly worth- 
less. Many a nobleman was accustomed to keep in his house a 
Catholic priest to reconcile him on his death-bed, as Portland 
had been reconciled, a practice which the more honest priests 
stigmatised as disgraceful, but which was the result of attributing 
to an act done on a death-bed a magical efficacy to wipe away 
the iniquity of a whole life. 2 

1 Fanzani's letter, ^ eb ' 2 , 1635, R- 0. Transcripts. 
March 2 

y Compare Panzani's rejoicing that in rnar.y cases the scheme broke 
down by death anticipating the arrival of a priest, with the bland satisfac- 
tion of Father Cyprian de Gamache at Portland's reconciliation, in Court 
and Times, ii. 331. 


The real danger arose not from the Catholic clergy, but from 
the Government. Everywhere men were being taught that it 
Danger ap- was their duty to submit to the King. They saw prac- 
From e the ed ^ ces an< ^ customs everywhere enjoined upon them 
Court. o f which they had known nothing before, and they 
began to suspect that some deeper motive was in existence than 
reached their ears. They knew that language which had been 
unheard in the reign of Elizabeth was freely used. The clergy 
talked of priests and altars, sometimes of auricular confession 
and of honours to be paid to saints. The inference hasty it 
may be, but natural enough was that there was a deep plot 
to wean the nation from its Protestantism. 

Charles had need to walk warily. Unluckily for him, he did 
Charles n t perceive the danger which he was running. He 
S s u h seo a f n fancied that he could make use of the Pope for his 
the Pope. own objects, just as he fancied that he could make 
use of the kings of France and Spain. 

His first object was to obtain from the Pope a permission for 
his Catholic subjects to take the oath of allegiance. In Decem- 
!6 34 . ber 1634, Gregorio Panzani, a priest of the Oratory, 
Arrival of ^ad arr i ye d in England with a special mission from 
Panzani. Rome to settle the disputes amongst the Catholics, 
and to obtain from Charles, through the influence of the Queen, 
an alleviation of their situation. Charles, who would not openly 
receive him, appointed Windebank to hear what he had to say, 
and especially to ask that something might be done about the 
oath. 1 

Panzani had every reason to be satisfied with Windebank. 
Morally and intellectually timid, the Secretary was thoroughly 
,635. alarmed at the progress of Puritanism, and looked 
pann1Tnd anxiousl y about for a shelter against the storm, of 
Windebank. w hich he could avail himself without an absolute 
surrender of all the ideas which he had imbibed in his child- 
hood and youth. By the side of Portland and Cottington he 
shows to advantage. If he was a weak man, he was not with- 
out a certain honesty of purpose, and if he missed the way in 

1 Panzani's letter, Jan. -?, R. 0. Transcripts. 


his searchings after truth, it was at least truth that he sought, 
and not pelf in this world or exemption from punishment in the 
other. It is easy to understand how this honesty of purpose 
had commended him to Laud, and how his hesitation and 
general weakness drew him into courses of which Laud could 
not approve. 

Panzani and Windebank had not often met before they 
began to talk of other things besides the oath of allegiance. In 
1634, Christopher Davenport, a friar who went by the name of 
Franciscus a Santa Clara, and who was a brother of the John 
Davenport who had been one of the feoffees and who had sub- 

1634. sequently emigrated to New England, had published 
?ura' Na ' a book Deus, Natura, Gratia the object of which 
Gratia. was to explain away the differences between the 
Church of Rome and the Church of England. Windebank and 
Charles himself looked hopefully to the strength which they 
would derive from some kind of understanding with Rome, the 
exact nature of which they had not defined to themselves, 
and Windebank was therefore shocked to hear that the Pope 
thought of censuring the book. Panzani listened to his ex- 
postulations, and saw a possibility of drawing over to his side 
men who were so well pleased to explain away the differences 
between the Churches. He at once took the measure of 
Windebank's intelligence. He wrote to Rome for a quantity 
of sacred pictures and artificial flowers to be distributed in 
presents among the King's ministers. " In this way," he ex- 
plained, " we shall gain not only the men, but their wives and 
daughters as well." 1 

Panzani found that the King did not welcome the idea of 
seeing a Catholic bishop m England. Windebank had less ob- 

1635. jection. He wished for quiet times, and a good under- 
paaYa 'en* standing between the King and the Pope seemed 
in England, admirably suited to forward his aim. He suggested 
that the Pope should send an agent to reside with the Queen, 
who might be employed to smooth away difficulties, and that 
the Queen might have an agent at Rome for a similar purpose. 

1 Panzani's letter, Jan. *- , R. 0. Transcripts. 


It is hardly likely that he would have made so important an 
overture without directions from his master. 1 

A few weeks later Windebank showed that his views of ac- 
commodation went far beyond the good offices of ambassadors. 
Why, he asked, could not the Church of Rome allow 

March. . 

Religious communion in both kinds ? Panzani referred him to 

conversation , , f /- i , , . i 

with winde- the works of Catholic authors to enlighten his mind. 
Windebank was evidently half-convinced already. 
" If it were not," he said, " for the Jesuits and the Puritans, we 
should perhaps unite with Rome." Panzani told him that if so 
great an object was to be attained, the Pope would make no 
difficulty in removing the Jesuits from England. 

Windebank would plainly have been glad to get rid of the 
Jesuits. With men of his temper, strength of will and force of 
windebank's character are always annoying. As for the Puritans 
supnre'Ldn'g ne ventured to suggest a splendid scheme of his own 
the Puritans. f or suppressing them. The King was at that time pre- 
paring to send forth the fleet which was to be supported by the 
first levy of ship-money. Why, said the Secretary to Panzani, 
should not the King place soldiers under trusty commanders on 
board the vessels ? He might easily find a pretext to keep some 
of them in London. Others he might post at other important 
points. In this way he might be without fear. He might 
weed out seditious persons from his kingdom by sending them 
to the wars in Flanders. The priest replied that Charles might 
count upon the Pope to supply him with captains, soldiers, and 
money. Such was the discourse which an English Secretary 
of State allowed himself to carry on with a foreign ecclesiastic. 
The year before Windebank had been employed by Charles to 
contrive how the naval forces of England could be used against 
a friendly nation. This year he was contriving how they could 
be used against Englishmen. No wonder that the path which 
he took diverged from the path of Laud. 

Panzani humoured the man with whom he had to deal, 
and asked him what concessions the English Church would 
require if it was to effect a reunion with Rome. Windebank 

1 Panzani's letter, -r-. -V , R. 0. Transcripts. 
' March a f 


went through the usual list Communion in both kinds, the 
Terms of mass and other offices in English, and permission 
Rome dU- Uh to t ^ e clergy to marry. Panzani listened sympatheti- 
cussed. cally, but took care to promise nothing. He sug- 
gested that the last demand proceeded from the married clergy 
themselves. Windebank, whose own comfortable family life 
was not threatened, acknowledged that he himself detested the 
idea of the marriage of the clergy. Panzani pressed him at 
least to advocate liberty of conscience for the Catholics. 
Windebank assured him that the King would make no diffi- 
culty about that, if only the Catholics would take the oath of 
allegiance. 1 

Panzani was not without hope that something might come 

of these overtures. He reported that Catholic doctrines were 

growing in favour with the Court. Two sermons had 


Tone of the been preached before the King recommending sacra- 
mental confession, and the conversation had turned 
on the subject at the King's supper table. A lady remarked 
that if confession were introduced the clergy must not marry, 
lest they should tell their wives of all the sins confided to 
them. Panzani thought that Divine Providence was leading 
the English to appreciate the blessings of a celibate priesthood. 3 
Windebank was not so hopeful. The King, he said, had 
already given permission to the Queen to send an agent to 
Rome, but it would take another century to effect the reunion 
of the Churches. If the Pope would allow the Catholics to 
take the oath of allegiance in a modified form, it would be a 
step in the right direction. Panzani, however, found that there 
were bad signs as well as good ones. Laud had been preaching 
that tradition was not to be trusted as much as the Scriptures. 
Others, besides the Secretary, treated Panzani with 
win yield* courtesy. Arundel showed him his pictures and 
nothing. statues. Cottington reverently took off his hat when- 
ever the Pope's name was mentioned. If, however, these men 

> Panzani's letter, j^p, R. 0. Transcripts. 

... -,, i 17, 20, March 27 ? 
Ibid.. March 3 3 >3o ; Apr . 16 - 7 , ,fe 


expected the Pope to make concessions to the English Govern- 
ment, they were now undeceived. Panzani had to announce 
that he would propose nothing about the modification of the 
oath, and that Deus, Natura y Gratia had been pro- 
. scribed at Rome. The King was vexed at the news, 
especially as a book had lately appeared arguing on behalf of 
the right of subjects to depose their kings. 

At this moment Portland's death had just taken place. 
Rumours reached Panzani that Parliament was to be sum- 
moned. The Secretary assured him that they were 
on'pariia- quite untrue. " O the great judgments of God ! " 
said Windebank. "He never punishes men with 
those means by which they have offended. That pig of a 
Henry VIII. committed such sacrilege by profaning so many 
ecclesiastical benefices in order to give their goods to those 
who being so rewarded might stand firmly for the King in the 
Lower House ; and now the King's greatest enemies are those 
who are enriched by these benefices." Cottington took the 
matter less seriously. " Who told you such nonsense ? " he 
said, laughingly, when Panzani spoke to him of his fears of a 

To some extent the Queen helped Panzani. She brought 
the little Prince to mass, and talked the King out of his dis- 
pleasure ; but she could not be induced to give her- 
wiit not C ap- self much trouble. She would take up warmly any 
ply herself. S p ec j a i case o f persecution ; but constant application 
to business of any kind was not to be expected from her. l 

Week by week Panzani noted in his letters various reasons 
for hopefulness. Carlisle told him that he was quite ready to 
accept all that was taught at Rome, except the claim 
Panzani's of the Pope to depose kings. Lord Herbert of 
hopes. Cherbury talked to him about his contemplated 

History of Henry VIII., assuring him that if he told the 
truth of that sovereign he would have little good to say of him, 
and that he would treat his subject as favourably as possible to 
the Church of Rome. He acknowledged, he said, the Roman 

i i March 27 . .. 10, April 24 ,, ,-, ... 

> Panzani's letters, -j^^f, April j[ lay - 4 , X. 0. Transcripts. 


Church as the mother of all churches, and would be glad to 
submit his book, De Veritate, to the judgment of the Pope. 
At Cambridge, a Dr. Martin to whom Windebank recommended 
Panzani, showed him some pictures of saints in pontifical vest 
ments, saying with a sigh, " Ah, when will such splendour be 
restored to our Church ? " Walter Montague, the witty and 
accomplished favourite of the Queen, came to announce his 
departure for Rome, and his intention to become a Father of 
the Oratory. 1 

It was not so easy to bring Windebank to the point. " It 
is very difficult," he said, " to leave the religion in which one 
September has been born." "If only," he murmured, "Rome 
winde- had but a little charity." 2 Before the end of 

bank s hesi- 
tation. October, however, Windebank announced to Pan- 
zani that he had now received the King's orders to confer with 
him on the reunion with Rome. Laud, he added, 


Lauds pre- had warned the King that if 'he wished to go to 
Rome, the Pope would not stir a step to meet him.' 
It may be that the King's expressions were exaggerated 
by Windebank. At all events, preparations were being made 
An agent to f r despatching an agent to reside in Rome on the 
go to Rome. Q ueen ' s behalf. Sir Robert Douglas, who was first 
chosen, died suddenly, and the King then selected Arthur 
Brett, who had once been set up by Middlesex as a rival of 
Buckingham. Con, a Scotchman, was named as a fitting 
person to represent the Pope at Somerset House. 3 

In the beginning of November, Panzani received an invita- 
tion to confer with Bishop Montague, the author of the Appello 
NOV. 3. Ccesarem. Years had passed away since Montague 
^ ish e >I on Vl he na< ^ en g a g e d in literary varfare with priests and 
reunion. Puritans alike. He now told Panzani ' that, after 
reflecting deeply or the matter, he confessed ingenuously that 
he did not know why the reunion should not be made, as he 
knew that the two Archbishops, the Bishop of London, and some 
othe bishops, with many of the most learned clergy, held the 

1 Panzani's letter, July '-f, R. 0. Transcripts. 
Ibid., Sept. -, ibid. 3 Ibid., Oct. ^, ibid. 

12 2 4 ' 


opinions of Rome on dogma, and especially on the authority 
of the Pope, whom he confessed to be the Vicar of Christ, the ^ 
successor of St. Peter, without whom nothing could be deter- 
mined to bind the whole Church, nor could a Council be con- 
voked.' 'He said freely,' added Panzani, 'that he believed 
what I believed, except transubstantiation.' The bishop then 
went on to say that the best thing would be to hold a conference 
of deputies on both sides, to meet in France. Panzani expressed 
his satisfaction, but declined to write to the Pope till the pro- 
posal was made by the King or by some public minister in his 
name. Montague acknowledged this to be right, arid promised 
to speak with Laud on the subject, adding, however, that Laud 
was 'very timid and circumspect.' 1 

Montague ought to have known better than to have applied 
such epithets to Laud. Neither the Archbishop nor the King 
Bretfs in- was likely to listen seriously to the scheme. Charles, 
structions. however, in the hope of gaining something for him- 
self, did not object to play with danger. It cannot be said 
how far he shared Windebank's belief that it would be a great 
advantage to have some one to excommunicate his subjects if 
they proved unruly, but at all events he had hopes of bringing 
the Pope to help him about the Palatinate. The greater part of 
the instructions given to Brett related to his nephew's affairs. 2 

Brett's mission caused no slight commotion at Court. The 

King's behaviour was all the more eagerly watched. It was 

told how, when he visited the Queen's new chapel in 

Somerset House and gave directions about placing 

the pictures, he bowed reverentially as he left the building. 

Walter Montague's conversion became a subject of gossip, and 

the letter in which he announced it to his father, the Earl of 

Manchester, passed from hand to hand. 3 

Almost every week Panzani had to write of the growing 

1 ' Pauroso e circonspetto ; ' Panzani's letter, Nov. , R. 0. Tran- 

2 Ibid, Nov. -, ibid. 


* W. Montague to Manchester, Nov. 21, S. P. Dom. cccii. 50. 
Panzani's letter, Dec. , R. 0. Transcripts. Garrard to Wentworth, 
Dec., Jan. 8, Strafford Letters, i. 489, 505. 


disposition at Court to regard the Catholic doctrines with 
1636. favour. The Queen had promised to do her best to 
Panzant's'' bring up her son as a Catholic. Goring was found 
news. reading Catholic books. Goodman, Bishop of Glou- 

cester, said divine offices in private out of the Roman Breviary, 
and asked permission to keep an Italian priest to say mass 
secretly in his house. Cottington had been ill, and had made 
his usual declaration of Catholicism. Such indications were 
of little value independently, but they served to show how the 
tide was running, and they were certain to appear in the eyes of 
Protestants to be of far more importance than they really were. 1 
The King took alarm. He had been willing to be on 
friendly terms with the Pope, but he had no idea of sacrificing 

his ecclesiastical or political position to the See of 
gains in- Rome. In January Laud's influence seemed to be 

at an end. On the 23rd he assured Wentworth of his 
belief that Cottington would soon have the Treasurer's staff. 2 
In February he had better hopes. The Queen was prohibited 
from taking the Prince with her to mass. Montague's promised 
meeting with Panzani was postponed. 3 Cottington found that 
his chances of grasping the Treasurer's staff were rapidly 
slipping away. 

As soon as it had become clear that Wentworth would not 
leave Ireland, Laud had selected the Bishop of London as his 

candidate for the vacant office. Cottington, as soon 


Cottington's as he saw his danger, had redoubled his intrigues. 
He carried to Necolalde news of the latest utterances 
of the King in the Committee of Foreign Affairs. He flattered 
the Queen, and offered to do his best to forward the great 
scheme for the reunion of the Churches. He expressed to 
Seneterre his willingness to support the designs of France 
against Spain, as he had previously expressed to Necolalde 
his willingness to support the designs of Spain against France. 
Perhaps Charles had some inkling of his double-dealing. 

1 Panzani 's letters, Jan., Feb., R. 0. Transcripts. 

2 Laud to Wentworth, Jan. 23, Works, vii. 229. 

* Panzani's letters, Feb. - 17 , R. 0. Transcripts. 

13, 27' ' 


Perhaps he shrank from entrusting an office so important to 

one who supported, however fitfully, the Catholic propaganda. 1 

At all events, he decided in favour of Juxon. The Bishop 

Februar was m d est an( ^ unassuming, and had shown himself 

The King to be possessed of habits of business in his manage - 

resolves to .., <>o. TIIS-III 

make juxon ment of the property of St. Johns College during 
irer ' the time of his Presidentship. He had neither wife 
nor family to tempt him to amass wealth, and his honesty was 
beyond dispute. 

As soon as Cottington knew his fate, he accepted it with 
his usual cheerfulness. He mystified Seneterre by assuring 
him that being himself too ill to attend to the duties 
and SMC-" of the office, he had recommended the bishop as a ' 
friend of his own. The suggestion, he continued, 
had been accepted by Laud, who had said that he did not care 
who was Treasurer as long as Cottington was not. Seneterre, 
who did not believe the story, replied by warm congratulations 
on his recovery, upon which Cottington returned his best wishes 
for the success of the Frenchman's diplomacy. Seneterre was 
fairly puzzled at his cool audacity. Was Cottington simply 
angling for a French pension, or did he foresee the failure of 
Charles's negotiations with the Emperor, and so wish to be on 
the winning side ? 2 

Language which only amused Seneterre exasperated Laud. 
On March 6, 1636, the Archbishop was gratified by the ap- 
pointment of a Treasurer who would never make a 

March 6. 

juxon joke or accept a bribe. In delivering the staff to 
irer ' Juxon, Charles explained that he needed a minister 
who would be 'discreet and provident for the good of his children 
whom God had blessed him with. Such a conscionable man, 
he thought, might best be found amongst the clergy.' "Among 
the clergy," he continued, turning to Juxon as he spoke, " I 
judge you, my Lord of London, the fittest, since you have no 
children." 3 " No churchman," noted Laud in his diary, " had 

1 Seneterre to Bouthillier, -^ **, Bibl. Nat. Fr. 15,993. 

2 Ibid., Feb. 3 ' *' ^ eb '' 4 , ibid. 

13, 20, March 5 

1 Crosfield's Diary, in Laud's Works, iii. 226, note. 


it since Henry the Seventh's time. I pray God bless him to 
carry it so that the Church may have honour, and the King 
and the State service and contentment by it ; and now if the 
Church will not hold up themselves under God, I can do no 
more." l 

Laud's song of triumph was, in fact, a confession of weak 
ness. Not one layman, forsooth, not even one married clergy- 
man, to be found in England, who could be trusted 
confession of as Juxon was trusted ! Was this the result of Laud's 
weakness. g rea { religious revival ? Were Middlesex and Port- 
land fair samples of the laity of England ? Had Charles no 
choice between a Juxon and a Cottington? 

Juxon himself made no enemies. He did his work quietly 
and industriously, never had a sharp word for anyone, and 
juxon at the kept sedulously aloof from the factions into which 
Treasury. j^g c our t was divided. Nevertheless, there was loud 
murmuring amongst the English lords at his elevation, as there 
had been murmuring amongst the Scottish lords at Spottis- 
woode's elevation the year before. The irritation which had 
been stirred in the winter by the exaction of ship-money 
acquired a sharper, more personal edge in the spring. The 
clergy, it was said, were drawing all employments into their 
hands. The voice which had been raised from the manor 
houses of every county found an echo in the presence chamber 
of Whitehall. 2 When the bishops were seen riding through 

1 Laud's Works,, iii. 226. Heylyn (Cypr. Angl, 285) says Laud had 
ail-covered that a Treasurer could honestly make 7,ooo/. a year without 
defrauding the King or abusing the subject. He had also observed ' that 
tivers Treasurers of late years had raised themselves from only mean and 
private fortunes to the titles and estates of Earls, which he conceived could 
not be done without wrong to both : and therefore he resolved to commend 
such a man lo his Majesty for the next Lord Treasurer who, having no 
family to raise, no wife and children to provide for, might better manage 
the incomes of the Treasury to the King's advantage than they had been 

2 Correr to the Doge, March ", Ven. MSS. In his despatch of 
-r TT 3 , he describes Juxon as follows : ' Certo e persona di grand' in- 
tegrita, i.iente appassionato di aicun partito, condizione stimata molto 


the streets, the bystanders would, half-jestingly, half-angrily, 
call one another's attention to the passage of the Church 
triumphant. 1 

Laud was in as much danger from his friends as from his 
enemies. He could place a dependent at the Treasury, and 

he could cite Puritans before the High Commission ; 
aloof from 5 but the fatal power of enforcing silence upon others 
am ' brought upon him the responsibility for all that was 
spoken or written against the Puritans. Though both he and 
Juxon refused even to see Panzani, and kept themselves strictly 
aloof from the intrigue which was gathering round him, they 

could not stop the mouths of others. Bishop Mon- 

March 20. 

Montague's tague, in a sermon preached before the King, recom- 
mended that stone altars should be substituted for 
the communion-tables. In his diocese, he boasted to Panzani, 
there was not a minister who would venture to speak against 
the Pope. Laud, he added, was well-intentioned, but very 
timid. Panzani told him plainly that he must not expect 
Rome to change an iota of her dogmas. Montague professed 
that he looked for no such change, but Panzani suspected 
strongly that when special points came under discussion the 
agreement would not be found so great as the Bishop thought. 
Montague, he found, expected his orders to be recognised at 
Rome, which, as he knew very well, was a concession most 
unlikely to be made. Evidently the Bishop was 
deceiving himself if he expected to join Rome 
otherwise than on her own terms. He himself, however, did 
not see the difficulty. With the exception of Morton, Davenant, 
and Hall, he said, all the bishops were enemies of the Puritans. 
Half-jestingly, Panzani said to him that he would be a Papist 
one day. " What harm," he replied, " would there be in that ? " 
As to the reunion, he had no doubt of its achievement. " I 
see," he said, " things insensibly improving through the pro- 
motion of moderate men." 2 

pregiabile, non trovandosi cosi ordinariamente a tempi present! in ogni 
persona. " 

' May, Hist, of the Parliament^ 23. 

* Panzani's letter, Mardp^pril^ R Q 7.,^, 
April 2, May 7 

144 PANZANPS MISSION. CH. i.xxix. 

It is beyond doubt that in thus speaking Montague wronged 
the greater part of his episcopal colleagues. But that which 
Charles and seemed possible to him might easily seem certain to 
the reunion, others, and Laud had to bear the blame of extrava- 
gances which he would never have countenanced himself. Nor 
could he ever feel sure of the King. Doubtless he knew that 
Charles would not lay his crown at the feet of the Pope, or 
sanction an abandonment of the specific doctrines of the 
English Church. But it was less easy to calculate on his 
actions than on his aims, and nothing was more likely than 
that he would swerve from the straight path by sheer inability 
to realise the direction in which each special concession was 
tending. He had had no objection to talk over the reunion 
as something within the range of possibility, and he had wel- 
comed heartily the notion of sending an agent to Rome in the 
Queen's name. Brett had fallen ill, and died in the begin- 
Hamiitonto nm g f April. A substitute was found for him in 
go to Rome. William Hamilton, a brother of the Earl of Abercorn. 
The selection of a Scotchman was particularly offensive to 
the English courtiers. 1 At the same time it was given out by 
con to come Panzani that Con would come with great splendour 
to England. to rev j ve t h e esteem for the Papal name. The King, 
remarked the Venetian ambassador, would probably wish his 
splendour to be less conspicuous. 2 

About the same time a circumstance occurred which showed 
that in matters of discipline at least, Laud could depend on 

the King. Long ago the marriage which James had 
Case of Lady arranged between Buckingham's brother and Frances 

Coke had ended in the scandal which, as in the case 
of Lady Essex, was the sad result of the cruelty which had 
bound a lively and sprightly girl to a husband who was dis- 
tasteful to her. James could turn Sir John Villiers into 
Viscount Purbeck, but he could not make him an agreeable 
or sensible man. When, in a few years his weakness of mind 
assumed the form of absolute insanity, his wife left him to live 

1 Panzani's letters, April ^ 3 , May ~ g , J?. 0. Transcripts. 
Correr's despatch, - v ". % Vtn. MSS. 


in adultery with Sir Robert Howard, a younger son of Lord 
Treasurer Suffolk. In 1624 proceedings were commenced 
against her in the High Commission Court, which 
ended three years later in a sentence of separation 
from her husband and the injunction of penance to be performed 
for her fault. At that time, however, she eluded the authority 
of the court, and it may well be believed that the officials did 
not show any great eagerness to expose the sister-in-law of the 
great Duke in a white sheet to the gaze of a London mob. 
I^ady Purbeck soon found her way to her paramour, living with 
him for many years and bearing him children at his house in 

In the spring of 1635 Sir Robert and the lady ventured to 
come to London in company. Charles, whose feelings of pro- 
1635. priety were offended, bade Laud to abate the scandal, 
muafand Lady Purbeck was accordingly arrested, thrown into 
escape. fa e Gatehouse, and ordered by the High Commission 
to perform the penance which she had hitherto avoided. Before 
the appointed day arrived, Sir Robert had bribed the keeper of 
the prison, dressed his mistress in man's clothes, and sent her 
off in this disguise to France. The court at once called him 
to account, and ordered his imprisonment till he produced the 
partner of his guilt. He remained in the Gatehouse till June, 
when he was set free upon bond not to come into her company 
again. 1 

In February 1636 a fresh effort was made to enforce the 

sentence of the court. A writ was issued commanding Lady 

Purbeck to return to England upon her allegiance, 

Feb. s. and Lord Scudamore, the English ambassador in 

moned S tJ> m Paris, was directed to serve it on her if he could find 

England. ner> 2 Scudamore's messenger discovered the house 

March 7. m w hich she was, and threw the box containing the 

writ in at the window. This barefaced attempt to serve the 

King of England's writ in the streets of Paris quickly drew the 

1 Laud's Works, iii. 392. Acts of High Commission, Ap. 16, 23, 30, 
June 3, S. P. Dam. cclxi. fol. 191, 201, 209 b, 214 b, 218. 

* Warrant, Feb. 8, S. P. Dom. cccxiii. 58. Coke to Scudair.ore, 
March 7, 5. P. France. 



attention of Richelieu, and a guard of fifty archers was at once 
sent to offer protection. In the end, Lady Purbeck withdrew 
for safety to a nunnery. 1 

Lady Purbeck had recently announced her conversion to 
the Papal Church. Immediately, all the weapons in the 
Efforts in armoury of that Church were put in use in her favour, 
her favour. Tri e Duchess of Buckingham, who, much to the 
King's disgust had recently married the young Irish Lord 
Dunluce, was induced to speak in her behalf, and to urge 
Lady Denbigh to forbear inciting the King against her erring 
sister-in-law. The Queen of France wrote to Hen- 
rietta Maria begging her to procure a licence for 
Lady Purbeck's return to England, and even Cardinal 
Barberini wrote a similar letter, which was only kept 
T i back by Panzani after he heard that the lady had left 

the nunnery, and that she was therefore not to be 
regarded as having 'an entire reputation.' 2 

Lady Purbeck, in fact, was not exactly the sort of person 

to find herself at home in a nunnery. She refused to conform 

to the regulations of the establishment. The nuns 

Lady Pur- , , 

beck leaves soon began to regard her with aversion. One day 
*' they omitted to provide her dinner. She resolved 
to leave the shelter which they had afforded to her. In July 
she was at large in Paris, and it was reported that Sir Robert 
Howard was on his way to join her. 3 

Under these circumstances Charles was firm. He refused 
to allow Lady Purbeck to come home. For some time she 
continued in Paris, living in much distress. 4 

In the summer of 1636 the Metropolitical Visitation was 
almost drawing to a close. A few months later the searching 
End of the light of inquiry would have been thrown upon every 
mi e (2Tiiiu- diocese i n England. Slothful inactivity, petulant self- 
two. w in > an d ) a j as ! a i so religious zeal and conscientious 
conviction, had been alike rebuked and irritated. Laud's last 

1 Scudamore to Coke, March 25, S. P. France. 

T\ M i .1 April 27. June 28 T . IQ n s\ m .* 

Panzani s letters. * " t> . ,-- r-, July-*, It. O. Transcripts. 

May 7, July 8 ' J 3 29 

Scudamore to Coke, July 11, S. P. France. 

Sir K. Digby to Conway, Jan. 21, 1637, S. P. Dom. cccxliv. 58. 


triumph was the allowance of his claim to include the Universi- 
june at. ties in his visitation. This claim was debated before 
tcfvilit the" the King and Council, and decided in his favour. 
Universities AS far as Oxford was concerned the victory was of 
ledged. slight importance. During his vigorous Chancellor- 
ship, opposition, though it still existed, had long ago been 
silenced. An admiring crowd of masters and doctors looked 
up to him as their patron and benefactor. In Cambridge it 
was far otherwise. Under the protection of their Chancellor, 
Holland, that University had set the Archbishop at defiance. 
Scholars were in the habit of attending chapel without their 
surplices. Some of the chapels had never been consecrated, 
and Laud's remonstrances had been met by the sharp answer 
that 'they were consecrated by faith and good conscience.' 
He now hoped to be able to settle all such matters in his own 
way, in spite of Holland. 1 

Again and again he had shown his affection to Oxford by 

presents of valuable books. A choice collection of Arabic 

manuscripts in the Bodleian still bears his name. 

June 22. 

The oxford He now sent down a body of statutes for the regula- 
tion of the University, which were cheerfully accepted 
by Convocation. They were introduced by Secretary Coke in 
a speech which may fairly be regarded as a defiance alike of 
the Puritan malcontents and of the sympathisers with Rome. 

" That which commands in chief," he said, " is his Majesty's 
sovereign power. . . . Him we all acknowledge to be our 
Coke's supreme governor, both of Church and Common- 
speech, wealth, over all causes and persons, and to his su- 
premacy and allegiance we are all obliged by oath. This, then, 
we must built upon as an axiom and fundamental rule of 
government, that all our laws and statutes are the King's laws, 
and that none can be enacted, changed, or abrogated without 
him ; so all courts of law or equity are properly the King's 
courts ; all justice therein administered, be it civil or martial, 
is the King's justice ; and no pardon or grace proceeds from 
any but from the King. And, as of justice, so is he the source 

1 Rushworth, iii. 
L 2 


of honour ; all dignities, all degrees, all titles, arms, and orders, 
come originally from the King as branches from the root ; and 
not only particular men and families, but all corporations, 
societies, nay counties, provinces, and depending kingdoms, 
have all their jurisdictions and governments established by him 
for public good to be changed or dissolved. So his power 
reach eth to foreign plantations, where he may erect princi- 
palities, and niake laws for their good government which no 
man may disobey. 1 And as in the temporal, so in the state 
ecclesiastical, his regal power by ancient right extendeth to the 
erection of bishoprics, deaneries, and cathedral churches, and 
to settle orders for government in all churches, by the advice 
of his own clergy, without any concurrence of foreign usurping 

Coke's speech was an assertion of absolute power flung in 
the face of Popes and Parliaments alike. He proceeded to 
Coke on the justify the authority which he claimed for Charles 
Ibso'iut^ by the effects which it had produced. The clergy, 
power. h e sa jd ) had been shielded from ' rich encroaching 
ministers and patrons,' churches had been built and restored, 
order and virtue had come back to the University. Whilst the 
Continent was a prey to war and starvation, England was in 
better case. " We sit here," said the Secretary, " thankful in 
true devotion for this wonderful favour towards us ; we enjoy 
peace and plenty ; we are like to those who resting in a calm 
haven behold the shipwreck of others, wherein we have no part, 
save only in compassion to help them with our prayers." 2 

So spoke Sir John Coke in his self-satisfied optimism. So 
believed Charles and Laud. It may be that it was with some 
thought of proving to the world that he was not led 
poisto vSt captive by Panzani, that Charles determined to show 
Oxford - himself at Oxford in the midst of that University in 
which the standard of Anglican orthodoxy was most uncom- 
promisingly raised. 

The chief part of the favour shown to Oxford would fall 

1 Probably a hit at the Massachusetts settlers, of whom more hereafter. 
J Laud's Works, v. 13$. 

1636 -. ' LAUD AND WINDEBANK. 149 

upon Laud. Before he set out to take his place at the head 
of the University, Juxon made a feeble attempt to 
Attempt to reconcile him with Windebank. He urged that it 
i!audand was hard to quarrel with an old friend merely be- 
Wmdebank. cause o f a difference of opinion about a soap com- 
pany. Windebank might surely be allowed the privilege of 
changing his opinions. " True," replied Laud, " but why did 
he not acquaint me with this alteration of judgment ? " J It was 
not, in short, the thing that he had done, but the manner in 
which he had done it ; the clinging, too, Laud might have said, 
if he had spoken all, to men whom he himself judged to be 
utterly vile and selfish. There could be no friendship between 
the man who was scheming for a reunion with Rome, and the 
man to whom the English Church was a model for all churches, 
perfect and complete in itself. 

" That which is the worst of all, they say," Cottington had 
written of Laud when the quarrel was at its height, " he can 
Aug. 29. never be reconciled where once he takes dis- 
op^mon'of' 5 pleasure." 2 The same absorption in the public in- 
Laud. terest, and the same want of consideration for the 

feelings of others which made him regard those as private 
enemies who were injuring the cause which he himself upheld, 
made him inconsiderate of the prejudices of others, and re- 
gardless of the courtesies of life. One day young 

Hyde scon- ~ , .,,.,. 

versation Hyde ventured to expostulate with him. ' I he 
people,' he said, ' were universally discontented and ' 
many ' spoke extreme ill of his Grace, as the cause of all that 
was amiss.' Laud answered that he was sorry for it, but it was 
his duty to serve the King and the Church. He could not 
abandon them to please the people. Hyde explained that his 
enemies were not confined to those who were the enemies of 
the King and Church. His roughness of manner was uni- 
versally disliked. Two Wiltshire gentlemen, for instance, who 
had lately appeared before the Council on business, had been 
treated with respect by all the councillors but himself. Coming 
to him at Lambeth to discover the reason of so strange a 

1 Juxon to Windebank, Aug. 13, S. P. Dom. cccxxx. 33. 

* Ccttington to Wemworth, Aug. 4, 1635, Strajford Letters, L 449. 


reception, he would not even listen to their inquiries. Saying 
that 'he had no leisure for compliments,' he had turned 
hastily away. To Hyde Laud replied that he was sorry if he 
had appeared to be rude. But it could not be helped. " It is 
not possible for me," he concluded, " in the many occupations 
I have, to spend any time in unnecessary compliments. If my 
integrity and uprightness, which never shall be liable to re- 
proach, cannot be strong enough to preserve me, I must submit 
to God's pleasure." 1 

At Oxford, Laud had thrown off the cares of business, and 
had forgotten his enmities for a season. On the morning of 

the day on which the King was to arrive, the gowns- 
Laud at ' men flocked to St. John's to do homage to their 

Chancellor. ' Courteous he was to all, but walked 
most and entertained longest my Lord Cottington.' At one 
o'clock the bell rang, and doctors in their scarlet gowns rode 
forth with Laud at their head to await the King two miles from 
the city. The citizens, too, as in duty bound, were mustered 
in sombre black, bringing into the scene that element of un- 
official life which as yet seemed but brute material in the hands 

of Laud. When the King had been Welcomed and 

The King s 

visit. had conducted the Queen to her lodgings at Christ- 

church, he attended the service in the cathedral. In the 
evening was acted in the spacious and stately Christchurch 
Hall a play, which Lord Carnarvon declared to be ' the worst 
that ever he saw but one that he saw at Cambridge.' He 
was not far wrong. William Strode, the Public Orator, from 
whose pen it proceeded, had introduced into it the usual 
hits at the fraudulent feoffees, at Prynne, shorn of his ears, 
and at the hypocritical Puritan whose religion was a cloak 
for the grossest profligacy. Even at Court these topics were 
not quite so attractive as they would have been three years 
before. 2 

The next morning the Elector Palatine, accompanied by his 
younger brother, Prince Rupert, was introduced to Convoca- 

1 Clarendon's Life, \. J2. 

* The Floating Island was printed in 1655, when anything written 
against the Puritans would find a ready sale amongst Royalists. 


tion. Charles Lewis had been created a Master of Arts at 

Cambridge. Oxford, by the mouth of Laud, declared that it was 

Aug. 30. beneath the dignity of one who conferred degrees 

The Paiati- a t his own University of Heidelberg to receive a de- 

nate princes J < 

at Oxford, gree himself. If he would be pleased to nominate 
some persons as doctors, the University was ready to ratify his 
choice. He at once named thirteen. A mastership of arts 
was conferred upon Prince Rupert. Appropriate presents 
were made to both the King's nephews. To the Elector was 
assigned a copy of Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, intended 
perhaps as a warning against the seductions of Calvinism. 
The hot-headed and adventurous Rupert received Caesar's 
Commentaries. If he had studied more deeply the lessons 
taught by the wariest and most self-controlled of com- 
manders, the Civil War might have ended otherwise than 
it did. 

As soon as the ceremony was over, Charles was taken 
to see the wonders of the University. The Bodleian Library 
claimed his special attention. He lingered there for more than 
an hour, and was loth to leave the place. Laud pointed to 
the Royal bust standing above the shelves, so that the library 
was, as it were, placed under his Majesty's protection. Then 
he took him to St. John's, where his own new buildings were 
just completed. The grey marble of which the pillars were 
composed brought to mind another servant, the new Lord 
Treasurer. To the end of his life Juxon was fond of hunting, 
and the pillars had been fetched from a quarry which had 
been discovered by the late President of the College whilst 
following the hounds near Woodstock. 

Then there was St. John's library to be visited, and a grand 
banquet given by the Archbishop to be partaken of. Presents 
The ban ^ meat anc ^ g ame had been sent from all quarters, 
quet. A good judge spoke of the entertainment as a mighty 

feast, in days when noblemen were vying with one another in 
the costliness and profusion of their hospitalities. Nor were 
the great alone invited to partake. ' His Grace had provided 
at his own charge sufficient to feed, nay feast all, from the 
hignest rank of men even to the guard and footmen of both 


Courts.' In the afternoon there was another play ; and a 
third, The Royal Slave, by Cartwright, followed in the evening. 
The Queen was so pleased with it that she had it repeated 
some months later at Hampton Court, borrowing the dresses 
used at Oxford for the occasion. The next morning the Court 
retired to Woodstock. 

Amongst the noblemen who accompanied Charles on this 
occasion were some who a few short years later were to take 
opposite sides in the civil strife. Essex bore the sword be- 
fore the King, seriously and solemnly, as may be imagined. 
Pembroke with his empty head was there too, nodding 
approval of the play for which as Lord Chamberlain he con- 
ceived himself to be in some sort officially responsible. 
Besides the lords and gentlemen in attendance, the Court was 
accompanied by one figure who must have seemed to many as 
a dark blot on the joyous scene. Panzani, just about to leave 
England, and to give place to Con, had come to enjoy Laud's 
hospitalities, and to express his astonishment at the poor figure 
cut by the Puritan in Strode's play. 

Some of the visitors found in Oxford objects of greater 
attraction than the plays. '"The churches or chapels of all 
the Colleges," wrote one of them, "are much 
rations of the beautified ; extraordinary cost bestowed on them, 
chapels, scarce any cathedral church, not Windsor or Canter- 
bury, nay, not St. Paul's choir, exceeds them. Most of them 
new glazed ; richer glass for figures and paintings I have not 
seen, which they had most from beyond the seas ; excellently 
paved their choirs with black and white stone. Where the east 
end admits not glass, excellent pictures, large and great, church 
work of the best kind they could get from the other side, of 
the birth, passion, resurrection, and ascension of our blessed 
Saviour ; all their communion-tables fairly covered with rich 
carpets, hung some of them with good hangings." ! 

For Laud and his followers there was free expression of 

1 Garrard to Conway, Sept. 4, S. P. Dom, cccxxxii. 14. Wood's Hist. 
Antiq. of Oxford > ii. 408. Panzani's letter, Sept. 6 , R. O. Transcripts. 


devotional religion. For the Puritan there was sharp coercion 
and ridicule. As yet the Puritan met the attack in 

No anthu- * . 

siasm in the gloomy silence, i he enthusiasm shown at Oxford 
was confined to the officials of the University. Red- 
gowned doctors, with those immediately under their influence, 
and courtly youths paid their compliments in sonorous Latin. 
But no loud salutation rang in the ears of Charles as he passed 
through the streets. Not a cry of " God save the King ! " was 
raised. 1 The scholars and the citizens were alike silent 

1 Wood, ii. 408. 



THE high language which Charles assumed at home was backed 
by no demonstration of physical force. The equally high 
March. language which he assumed to foreign nations was 
jjfofvCfew. Dac ked by the most magnificent fleet, in point of 
sum. s j ze an( j numbers, which had ever left our shores. 

Its setting forth had been preceded by the publication of 
uncompromising claims to pre-eminence put forward by the 
most learned of English lawyers, himself one of the prime 
movers of the opposition in the last Parliament. That argu- 
ment, now appearing in print under the title of Mare dausum, 
had been drawn up by Selden in the preceding reign at the 
time when James was putting forward a claim to a tribute 
from the Dutch fishing-boats. James, wiser than his son, 
had refrained from pushing his demands in the face of the 
irritation which they caused ; and the book had been left for 
some years in the author's hands. It was now dragged to 
light by Charles. Sent to the press in the autumn of 1635,' 
it was issued to the world as a public manifesto in the following 
spring. One copy was laid up by the King's orders in the 
Court of Exchequer, another in the Court of Admiralty, whilst 
a third was to be preserved for the perpetual use of the Privy 
Council, ' as a faithful and strong evidence to the dominion of 
the British seas.' 2 

The book thus pompously announced would meet with 

1 Joachimi to the States-General, Aug. , 1635, Add. MSS. 17,677 

O, fol. 366. 

2 Order in Council, March 26, Rush-worth, ii. 320. 


nothing but scorn and derision at the present day. Its very 
itsargu- premisses would be contemptuously set aside. Sel- 
ment - den did not trouble himself to inquire whether the 

authority which he claimed was in accordance with the well- 
understood interests of England itself, to say nothing of the 
interests of other nations. It was enough for him to flatter 
the vanity of his countrymen by a long and elaborate compila- 
tion of precedents exhibiting the rights claimed over the sea 
by early English sovereigns. He did not stand alone in this 
method of treatment. He lived in an age when power which 
was almost absolute, as well as liberty which was almost re- 
publican, was accustomed to justify itself by appealing to the 
records of the past. The sense of the continuity thus evolved 
was an important safeguard against rash and inconsiderate ex- 
periments in politics. Yet it was possible to break even that 
safeguard down, to clothe revolutionary aggression under the 
form of reverence for ancestral wisdom, and to pursue a violent 
and provocative policy under the appearance of adhering to 

Such was the course upon which Charles had now entered 
at home and abroad. No doubt there was much that was 
Charles's fascinating in the splendid position which he claimed 
object. to hold am jd s t warring nations. As he kept the 
peace on land, so would he keep the peace at sea. All through 
the German Ocean, all through the English Channel, not a 
shot should be fired in anger. Merchants should ply hither 
and thither freely, unvexed by pirates, by blockading squadrons, 
or by inquisitorial searchers for contraband goods. All those 
belligerent rights which Charles had himself exercised so freely 
and so offensively in the beginning of his reign were to be 
interdicted to the navies of Spain and France and of the Dutch 
Republic. He never thought of asking whether other powers 
would willingly admit an authority so unlimited, any more than 
he thought of asking whether his subjects would willingly admit 
the authority which he claimed at home. It was for him to 
lay down the law, and for others to follow. He alone was dis- 
interested, just, and wise : all others were selfish, pugnacious, 
and grasping. 


The fleet which was to maintain these exorbitant pretensions 

had been entrusted to a new Admiral. This time it was sent 

April 7 . out under the command of the young Earl of Nor- 

Northum- f thumberland, the son of that Earl who had been a 

be f la . nd , , prisoner in the Tower for so many years. A cour- 

Admiral of . J J 

the Fleet. teous and high-spirited young nobleman, who took 
care to keep himself aloof from the factions of the Court, he 
was on the best terms with everybody. He was himself in 
friendly intercourse with Wentworth. His sister, Lady Carlisle, 
in spite of waning years, was still the reigning beauty at White- 
hall, and his brother. Henry Percy, had gained a strong influence 
over the Queen by his light and amusing conversation. This 
year there was little probability that the fleet would be used in 
combination with Spain. Lindsey and his subordinates had 
found occupation in convoying Spanish vessels to Dunkirk, and 
had been rewarded by Necolalde for their trouble. 1 Lindsey's 
Vice-Admiral, Sir William Monson, had been a Catholic. 
Northumberland was now ordered not to admit any officer 
who refused to take the oath of supremacy as well as the 
oath of allegiance, 2 and Monson had therefore no place in the 
new fleet. 

The instructions given to Northumberland were almost 

identical with those of the previous year. On May 20 he sailed 

May 20. westward from the Downs. It was known that a large 

Northum- French fleet had been gathering at Rochelle, that it 

berland m 

the Channel, had a. considerable number of troops on board, and 
that it was provided with every appliance for landing on a hostile 
coast. 3 As the belief prevailed in England that the expedition 
was bound for Dunkirk, Northumberland was directed to watch 
its motions. Northumberland, however, like Lindsey the year 
before, was unable to meet with an enemy. At Calais, Bou- 
logne, and Dieppe he found nothing stirring. He came across 
a few Dunkirk privateers on the look-out for prizes, but his 
heavy vessels were no match for them in sailing, and it proved 

Secret payments to Necolalde, Simancas MSS. 2564. 

2 Garrard to Wentworth, March 15, Strafford Letters, i. 523. 

* French preparations at sea, March 30. Scudamore to Coke, May 6, 
S. P. France. 


impossible to bring them to account for their defiance of 
Charles's sovereignty of the seas. An unlucky 1 )utch merchant 
vessel, which had made a capture in the Helford river, was 
seized and sent to Portsmouth with its prize. Off Portland, Nor- 
thumberland gave chase to eight Dutch men-of-war. Whether 
Charles was sovereign of the seas or not, he could not build 
ships that would sail, and the Dutchmen were soon out of 
sight When the fleet reached Ushant in the be- 
ginning of June, news was brought to the Admiral 
that the French had left Rochelle. Then came a false rumour 
that they had passed up the Channel. Northumberland crowded 
all sail in chase, and arrived in the Downs on the 24th to find 
that the French fleet had steered for the Mediterranean. 1 

If French men-of-war were not to be found in the Channel, 
something might possibly be done with the Dutch herring-boats 
j ul in the North Sea. The fishermen were accustomed 
The Dutch to meet the shoals of herrings somewhere between 
Shetland and Buchan Ness about the second week in 
July, and to accompany them on their way southward as far as 
the coast of Norfolk. 2 Northumberland now received orders 
to seek out the Dutch boats, and to compel them to accept a 
fishing licence from the King of England. A small payment 
was to be made, in return for which the licensed vessel was to 
receive a guarantee against the attacks of the Dunkirk pri- 
vateers. Some two hundred of the boats, rather 
than lose the benefit of the season, took the licences 
and paid the money. 3 Others refused to compromise the 
honour of their country, and it is not improbable that their 
sense of the dignity of the Dutch Republic was reinforced by 
a doubt whether the English fleet was able to secure them 
against the attacks of the swift-sailing Dunkirkers. The 
crews of those vessels which returned to Holland filled the air 
with their outcries. The Dutch ambassador was instructed 

1 Northumberland to the Lords of the Admiralty, May 23, 30, June 8, 
22, 5". P. Dom. cccxxi. 87, cccxxii. 40, cccxxv. 78, cccxxxvii. 42. 

* Northumberland to the Lords of the Admiralty, June 28, ibid. 
cccxxvii. 93 

s Northumberland to Windebank, Aug. 16, ibid, CCCXJLXV. 41. 


to remonstrate sharply. Charles replied that if he chose to 
insist on his rights he might chase their vessels from the sea. 
It was his exceeding kindness to offer them protection. Sooner 
than surrender his dominion over the sea, he would give up 
England itself. 1 

It would hardly be fair to say that the second ship-money 
fleet had effected absolutely nothing. It is not improbable that 
Small but for its existence the French Admiral would have 

results. directed his course to the Channel, and not to the 
Mediterranean. But at most it had done nothing positive 
nothing that was likely to convince those who were not con- 
vinced already that there had been any adequate reason for the 
unwonted pressure which had been put upon the country in 
order to send it forth. 

In his warlike preparations Charles had aimed at petty 
objects by means disproportionately great. In his diplomacy 
he aimed at the greatest objects by means disproportionately 
small. His fleet was too powerful to be employed to enforce 
the lowering of a few flags or the payment of a few shillings 
by the Dutch fishermen. It was not powerful enough to 
enable him to regain the Palatinate. 

When Arundel's instructions had been framed in April, he 
was ordered to be content with nothing short of a direct 
engagement from the Emperor to restore the terri- 
Arundei'sin tory, and to enter into arrangements for the sub- 
ons " sequent restoration of the title. Charles's offers in 
return were couched in terms far less precise than his demands. 
" In general," he wrote, " you must take heed not to engage 
us by any confederation into an actual war, or to any breach 
of peace or violation of our treaties with our neighbours and 
allies ; yet, upon a full restitution of our nephew's dignities 
and estates, we will be contented to join with the Emperor and 
his House in a strict league for the common peace, and to that 
end will interpose our mediation and credit with all the Princes 
and States of our profession in religion within the Empire, to 

1 Boswell to Windebank, Aug. 9, Beveren's memorial, Aug. 20. 
Joachimi to the King, Aug. 25. Answer of the King's Commissioners, 
Aug. 30, 5. P. Holland. 


persuade them to submit to the Emperor, and accept peace, to 
be made upon such just and equal conditions as at the next 
Assembly shall be agreed on for the honour of the Emperor 
and good of the Empire. We will also induce our uncle the 
King of Denmark to join with us in this work, and will treat 
with the Swedes to accept reasonable contentment ; and will 
labour effectually with our neighbours the States-General of 
the United Provinces to make peace or truce with the King of 
Spain and his brother the Infant Cardinal ; and with France 
we will do the like ; and with the Italian Princes our friends, 
as there shall be cause ; and if any of all these shall refuse 
just and reasonable conditions and disturb the peace, we will 
assist the Emperor and his House as far as without breach of 
treaties we may be able, and to this end will maintain a 
powerful fleet at sea, and will suffer our people to serve him 
where we see cause ; and all this with the consequence may 
very well deserve not a partial and ambiguous, but such a 
total and absolute restitution as we desire, and without which 
we shall be forced to join with some other party for the 
advancement of this justice and public peace, which we are 
unwilling to prosecute to the disadvantage of that House 
which we and our progenitors have so much honoured and 
esteemed." 1 

No wonder Arundel had little mind to leave his stately 
mansion, rich with antique statuary and gems of modern art, 
Arundel sent u P on suc ^ an errand as this. 2 But Charles would 
to Vienna, hear of no excuse, and the magnificent nobleman 
who ' resorted sometimes to the Court, because there only was 
a greater man than himself, and went thither the seldomer 
because there was a greater man than himself,' was com- 
pelled to go on a fool's errand across half a continent. 

On his arrival he found that a new difficulty had arisen in 

June. tne wa Y f his negotiation. The Elector of Bavaria 

His arrival, had lately married his own niece, the daughter of the 

Emperor, and it was now known that there was a prospect of a 

1 Arundel's instructions, April i, S. P. Germany, 
1 Panzani's despatch, ^ ar ^ 3 , R. 0. Transcripts. 


child being born to him. If it should prove a boy, he would 
be more loth than ever to sacrifice the acquisitions which he 
had made, and would be certain to oppose every suggestion 
that he should lessen the inheritance which he now hoped to 
bequeath to his descendants. Even without this, Arundel's 
terms were such as to cause irritation at Vienna. The alliance 
which he had to offer was reduced by his instructions to the 
merest shadow, whilst the terms which he was ordered to exact 
were to be the strictest possible. Both Palatinates, together 
with the Electoral dignity, were to be absolutely restored. The 
utmost concession which Arundel was empowered to make was 
the allowance of time for the fulfilment of part of these ccn- 
ditions. To make such a proposal was to invite a rebuff. 
Ferdinand replied that he was ready to fulfil the engagement 
which he had given in February. He would give up a con- 
siderable portion of the Lower Palatinate, and would take off 
the ban. Arundel proudly answered that his master would 
not be satisfied with less than all. Maximilian said that his 
language sounded like a declaration of war, and scornfully 
asked what possible advantage was to be gained from an 
English alliance. An English fleet could not influence the 
fortunes of a campaign in Alsace. As for English soldiers, he 
had seen them under Vere and Hamilton, and he had no 
cause to fear them much. Arundel was soon made aware that 
he had nothing further to expect, and he hinted plainly in his 
despatches that he wished for nothing better than a speedy 
recall. ! 

To recall his ambassador would have been far too simple a 

proceeding for Charles. As he had hoped to make the Emperor 

July 20. more ready to fulfil his wishes by keeping up the 

An.ndei semblance of a negotiation with France, so he now 

ordered to 

remain. hoped to make the King of France more ready to 
fulfil his wishes by keeping up the semblance of a negotiation 
with the Emperor. " It is not thought counsellable," wrote 

1 Arundel to the Emperor, June 8. Arundel to Coke, June 13, 20, 
22, S. P. Germany. The Elector of Bavaria to the Emperor, June ^ 
Khevenhiiller, Ann. Ferd. xii. 2107. 


Coke to Arundel in the King's name, "to make any open 
breach which may be a disadvantage to any other treaty that 
may be thought of for putting this business in any other way." ' 

A despatch was therefore sent off to the Earl of Leicester, 
who was conducting Charles's diplomacy at Paris as extra- 
Leicester ordinary ambassador. Louis had lately made fresh 
e d otiate in overtures to Charles, pressing, as Ferdinand had 
France. pressed in February, for a league offensive and de- 
fensive in return for assistance in the recovery of the Palatinate. 
Leicester was to try and get the aid of Louis on better terms. 
He was to say that his master would allow the King of France 
to levy volunteers in England, would abstain from carrying 
men and money to the Spanish Netherlands, and would send 
his fleet to the defence of the French coast. Even this very 
moderate amount of assistance was not to be promised at once. 
Leicester was to take care to engage the King of France be- 
fore he engaged his master. Above all, he must clearly make 
it understood that Charles had no intention of embarking on an 
open war in alliance with France. 2 

If ever there was a time when the French Government 

was inclined to curse the hollowness of Charles's professions 

of friendship it was now. The Cardinal Infant had 

June 23. 

France in- resolved to return the blow which had been struck 

at the Netherlands the year before. On June 23 

the Spanish army crossed the frontier into Picardy. One 

fortified post after another fell into his hands. On July 22 he 

j uly _ forced the passage of the Somme, and on August 5 

August. he entered Corbie as a conqueror. The French troops 

retreated behind the Oise, and the road to the heart of France 

seemed to lie open to the invaders. 

It was well known in France that this attack had been 
July. assisted by English aid. The Count of Onate, the 
mo*ey h con- son ^ t ^ ie a ^ e diplomatist who had long represented 
F e n ye Hsh n Philip IV. at Vienna, had lately arrived as the am- 
*">?=> bassador of Spain in England. The English vessel in 

which he had taken his passage had on board a large sum of 

1 Coke to Arundel, July 20, S. P. Germany. 

" Leicester to Coke, July 9 ; Coke to Leicester, July 20, S. P. Frante. 


money destined for the payment of the Cardinal Infant's 
army, and this money was conveyed across the Straits by an 
order from Windebank, though the King intended it to be 
stopped till two-thirds of it had been converted into bills of 
exchange. The difference, slight in our eyes, was an impor- 
tant difference then, and Charles sent Windebank for a short 
time into confinement. The rumour was spread that both 
Windebank and Cottington had been bribed by the Spanish 
ambassador, and Charles for a moment credited the story. His 
anger, however, soon cooled down, and neither the Secretary 
nor the Chancellor of the Exchequer felt any serious conse- 
quences of the mistake which they had committed. 1 

Leicester's negotiation was not rendered more easy by the 

evident leaning of Charles to Spain. He told his master that 

in his opinion the terms he was instructed to offer 

August. r 

Leicester's were insufficient. Father Joseph, Richelieu's con- 
fficuities. fidan ^ allowed the f ee i ings of the French Govern- 
ment to be plainly seen. "We will perform all we promise,' 
he said, " and more too, but we are not willing to be drawn 
on further till your master resolve ; for perhaps all that you do 
with us you make known to the Emperor, that he may see 
what we have offered, and so judge us to be in great need of 
your assistance, and that you may obtain better conditions of 
the Emperor ; and then you will quit us." Leicester knew 
how well-founded these suspicions were. " Therefore," was 
his comment on Father Joseph's words, in writing home, " if 
I can at all guess at them, they must be honestly and plainly 
dealt with. They hold it unequal that they should be bound 
to continue in a war by any that will not be engaged in it." 
Charles could not deal honestly and plainly. Leicester 
found it hard work to clothe his master's hesitating 

The nego- 
tiation con- utterances in diplomatic language. The French 

tinued. . . 

ministers had nothing to conceal. " We will not de- 
ceive you," they said, " and therefore do not deceive yourselves. 

1 Windebank to Juxon and Cottington, July 12. Windebank to the 
King, Sept. 2, Clar. S. P. i. 588, 634. Correr to the Doge, ^~, Venice 
MSS. Roe to Elizabeth, July 20, S. P. Dotn. cccxxix. ai. 


If the King your master will have such assistance as we have 
offered for the recovery of his nephew's estates and dignities, 
we expect that he join thus in league as we have proposed ; 
for without that we declare unto you that we can do nothing. 
If he will not do so, well ; we are content and continue friends 
as we are, and leave unto the King the recovery aforesaid by 
his own power, or how else he shall think good, but we believe 
that without this he shall hardly be able to effect it." 1 

Richelieu knew his man, and contented himself with 
carrying on a negotiation which might serve to keep England 
_ , aloof from a Spanish alliance. Articles of a treaty 


Articles dis- were accordingly drawn up and discussed. Charles, 
however, insisted that all words binding himself should 
be as vague as possible, and that all words binding the King 
of France should be as strict as possible. For all practical 
objects the negotiation at Paris had failed as hopelessly as the 
negotiation at Vienna. 

By the end of September Arundel's protracted stay at the 
Emperor's Court had served its purpose, so far as it was pos- 
sible for it to be of any avail at all, and on the 2yth orders 
for his return were despatched. 2 Leicester remained at Paris, 
weaving his Penelope's web of diplomacy without Penelope's 
pleasure in the delay. He was one of those who would gladly 
have seen the relations between England and France more 
intimate than he was allowed to make them. 

As the weeks passed on the position of the French 

Government improved. All classes had cheerfully responded 

to Richelieu's demand upon their patriotism. Ca- 

Failure of r 

the invasion tholics and Protestants had stood shoulder to 
shoulder against the invaders. The Spanish onset 

was arrested. Louis took the field in person to recover the 

ground which had been lost by his commanders. On his 
s march he was cheered by good news from Germany. 

Battle of The Swedish General Baner had gained a victory at 
Wittstock, and was pressing forwards into the heart 

of Saxony. The allies of Prague had failed to dictate their 

1 Leicester to Coke, Aug. 8, 16, 5". P. France. 

2 Coke o Arundel, Sept. 7, S. P. Germany. 

M 2 


will to the Empire. Before the end of the year Corbie had 
been regained, and the flag of Spain no longer waved over 
any corner of French soil. The tide which had set steadily in 
favour of Spain and the Empire since the day of Nordlingen 
was stayed at length. 

In the face of these events Charles was still wavering and 
uncertain. He was still taking thought how he might recover 
October, the Palatinate without striking a serious blow. He 
pone^hi^ 05 '" st ^ believed it to be impossible that both France 
decision. an d Spain should refuse his terms. To the urgent 
entreaties of his courtiers who were crying out for war, he 
replied that he must await the course of Leicester's nego- 
tiations. He informed his sister that he would allow her son 
a pension of i2,ooo/. a year, but that she must not expect 
more for the present. Laud was instructed to convey to her 
the disappointing intelligence. " To maintain a land army in 
Germany," he wrote, "and pursue the cause that way, his 
Majesty, upon most serious consideration of his estate finds 
neither fit nor feasible for him at the present." Laud took 
little interest in foreign politics. His own feelings were ex- 
pressed to Wentworth. "In my judgment," he wrote, "the 
Earl of Leicester writes more like a councillor of France than 
an ambassador of England. . . . Well, so a war and the mis- 
chief which must follow be kept off, I shall care the less." l 

It would have been well for Charles if he could have kept 
himself entirely clear of these foreign complications. Ex- 
cepting so far as Dunkirk was concerned, no national English 
interest was involved in the hostilities which were raging on 
the Continent, and there was no longer such an issue before 
the world in the German war as to call upon all nations to 
take a side. 

The point of view from which the modern student is 
likely to regard the great struggle on the Continent is indeed 
Strength of Vel 7 different from that which engaged the attention 
toleration. o f t ^ e statesmen of Charles's reign. It mattered 
little to the general progress of Europe whether France should 

1 Laud to Elizabeth, Oct. 13 ; Laud to Wentwoith, Nov. 15, Dec. 5, 
% vii. 289, 293. 300. 


extend her frontiers in the direction of Flanders or of Alsace, 
or whether the Princes of Germany who had been excluded 
from pardon by the Peace of Prague should be allowed to retain 
their territories. It mattered, however, a good deal that the 
principle of toleration should be strengthened, and it is un- 
deniable that the course of events on the Continent had been 
such as to favour its increased acceptance. Even the Em- 
peror had acknowledged its power, as it was only by the 
revocation of the Edict of Restitution that resistance to his 
enemies had become possible, whilst the States-General owed 
much of the renewal of their strength to the favour accorded to 
the Arminians by Frederick Henry. In France the standard 
of toleration was held the highest. Richelieu had succeeded 
in beating back the invaders of his country because his eccle- 
siastical policy was precisely the opposite of that which seemed 
right in the eyes of Charles and Laud. The rulers of England 
strove to enforce uniformity, in the hope of reaching the 
strength of unity after a period, longer or shorter, of severe re- 
pression. Richelieu sought strength by frankly acknowledging 
the differences which existed, and by appealing to the common 
patriotism of those who in religious belief stood apart at a far 
wider distance than that which separated Laud from the most 
fanatical Puritan in England. 

Although the day would come when Richelieu's work would 
be shattered by a bigoted king, it had been done 

Example of .. . _ , . , , - , , 

French not for the French nation only, but for all nations 
and for all time. The practical demonstration that 
toleration did not bring forth national weakness would not be 
thrown away. 

It is not to be denied that the adoption of a system of 
toleration would have been in some respects attended with 
greater difficulties in England than it was in France. What 
was granted in France was a local toleration for those who 
lived in certain places. Nothing of the kind would meet the 
requirements of England. Toleration there must be not local, 
but universal. The men who reverenced the communion-table 
as an altar, and the men who looked upon it as a mere table 
to which no reverence was due, lived side by side in the same 


street. Here and there a few enlightened spirits, or a few 
sincere believers whose eyes had been opened by the persecu- 
tion to which they had been exposed, might welcome the idea 
of mutual toleration, and the time would one day come when 
the light shining fitfully in the midst of darkness would kindle a 
great fire to burn up the houses of oppression. It is not, how- 
ever, by new and great ideas alone that the world is saved from 
misery. They cannot do their work till the conditions of growth 
are satisfied and the seed has found its appropriate soil. 

The main condition of toleration was the absence of fear 
lest toleration should be used as a means of attack upon those 
Conditions w h granted it. The discovery that the dominant 
of toleration. re iigi on j n France was in no danger from the assaults 
of the Huguenots had made toleration possible there. Laud 
had no such comforting assurance in England. As the leader 
of a governing minority, he was beset with fear that his work 
would crumble away the moment the strong hand of Govern- 
ment was withdrawn from its support. All the more tolerant 
maxims with which he had started l were stripped away from 
him by the falseness of his position. In proportion as his 
weakness grew more evident his intolerance increased. The 
true word and thought could not proceed from one who was 
occupying the ground on which he was standing. Not till a 
Government arose whose ecclesiastical institutions rested on 
the conviction of the nation, and which could therefore afford 
to deal generously with the few who held divergent opinions, 
would the doctrine of toleration take its place amongst the 
accepted principles of English politics. 

It is only necessary to glance at the events which were taking 
place in New England to acquire a conviction that intolerance 
Chances of was tne product of fear far more than of intellectual 
New*" " ' n conv ' ct i n or theological hatred. It was fear which 
England. made Laud sharp-sighted to spy out future danger to 
England from the establishment of Puritanism in America, and 
it was fear which made those very Puritans who had fled from 
persecution at home ready to root out the elements of disorder 
in their new abodes. 

1 See Vol. VII. p. 124. 


Laud clearly perceived that the danger of spiritual contagion 

could no 1 " be confined within any geographical limits. The few 

, 6 . Hundreds of Puritans who had established themselves 

April 28. j n Massachusetts might easily obtain an influence 

Colonial _ ' 

commission, over these like-minded with themselves in England, 
whilst the hope of finding a refuge beyond the Atlantic might 
serve as an encouragement to the nonconformists at home. As 
his manner was, Laud went to the root of the difficulty. In 
April 1634, a commission, of which he was himself the head, 
was appointed to take all English colonies under its control ; 
' to make laws, orders, and constitutions ; ' to establish a clergy, 
supported ' by tithes, oblations, and other profits ; ' to remove 
the governors and other officers, to inflict punishment, to set up 
ecclesiastical courts, and to call all charters in question before 
a court of law, if they were found to contain privileges injurious 
to the Crown or to the King's prerogative. 1 

In the following December the Privy Council placed further 

December, restrictions on emigration. No man of sufficient 

Order for means to be rated on the subsidy books was to go to 

limiting * 

emigration. N ew England without a special licence from them- 
selves, and no poorer person was to go without a certificate of 
conformity from the minister of his parish. 2 

In the following April the Council of New England, which 
had for many years exercised a nominal authority over the 

,635. settlements, surrendered its powers to the Crown, on 
Thffcouncii the understanding that the lords and gentlemen of 
Engfand whom it was composed should share amongst them- 

surrenders se lves the whole of the territory lying between Vir- 
us powers to 

the Crown, ginia and the French colony on the St. Lawrence. 
These lands they were to hold directly from the King. Before 
the end of the year all legal difficulties were cleared from their 
way. At the application of the Attorney-General, the Court 
of King's Bench declared the Massachusetts charter to be null 
and void. 3 

1 The Commission in Hazard, i. 344, is a reissue after Juxon became 

- The Commissioners to the Warden of the Cinque Ports, Hazard, i. 347. 
1 Palfrey, History of New England, i. 391. 


Sir Ferdinando Gorges was chosen as the first Governor 
of the colony under this new arrangement. Yet even in the 

1634. Privy Council voices had been raised against the 
^America i m Ph c y of forcing the Church system of England 
to the upon the Massachusetts settlers. l In Massachusetts 

threatened . r 

changes. itself the whole colony prepared for resistance. In 
1634, with the first news of the danger, orders were given to 
erect fortifications, and captains were appointed to train for 
military service those who were unskilled in the use of arms. The 

next year still more stringent measures were adopted. 

Every resident was ordered to take an oath of 
fidelity to the local Government, and a military commission was 
intrusted with unlimited powers ' to do whatsoever might be 
behoveful for the good of the plantation in case of any war that 
might befall,' and even to imprison and confine any that they 
should judge to be enemies to the commonwealth ; ' and such 
as would not come under command or restraint, as they should 
be required, it should be lawful for the Commissioners to put 
such persons to death.'' 2 

The assumption of independent authority by the colonists, 
and their use of it to secure the exclusive maintenance of their 
Assumption own creed, had caused indignation at home. The 
den"t d ai?Thor- Council of New England, in surrendering its charter, 
"y- complained that it was unable to control men who 

had ' framed unto themselves both new laws and new conceipts 
of matter of religion and forms of ecclesiastical and temporal 
orders and government, punishing divers that would not approve 
thereof, some by whipping, and others by burning their houses 
over their heads, and some by banishing and the like ; 3 and 
all this partly under other pretences, though indeed for no other 
cause save only to make themselves absolutely masters of the 
country and unconscionable in their new laws.' 

Such was the view of the proceedings of the Massachusetts 
settlers which prevailed in the English Court So far as it was 
true, the strictness of the local government is to be excused 

1 Joachimi to the States-General, March - z , Add. MSS. 17,677 O, 
fol. loi. 

1 Palfrey > i. 394. ' ' For the like ' in Hazard (i. 390). 


on the same ground as Laud!s greater severity in England, 
obstacles to ^ either is to be excused at all. Fear, much more 
toleration. tnan bigotry, was in both cases the parent of in- 
tolerance. In the Dutch Netherlands, the victory of Calvinism 
in 1618 had been so complete, and the political weakness of 
the Arminians had been so amply demonstrated, that it had 
recently become possible to allow the proscribed Arminian 
teachers to return to their homes, and to gather around them 
congregations which were never again likely to become dan- 
gerous. In England it was as yet otherwise. Laud lived in con- 
stant apprehension that if he relaxed his efforts for a moment, 
Puritanism would arise as a flood to sweep away himself and 
all that was dear to him. As it was in the Old England, so it 
was in the New. The guardians who presided over the fortunes 
of the settlement feared the disintegrating power of men who 
would advocate Laud's principles amongst them more than they 
feared all the military forces which he could send against them ; 
as the watchman who sees with equanimity the dash of the surf 
upon the dyke which he is appointed to maintain intact, will yet 
shudder at the tiny rill of trickling drops which percolates 
through its sides. 

Every year the position of the Puritan colonists was growing 
stronger. Large numbers had joined them in 1634. In 1635, 
increase of m s P^ te * tne restrictions imposed by the Council, 
the colony, three thousand persons added themselves to the 
community. The Metropolitical Visitation was doing its work 
for them. Their leaders might defy the English Government, 
but they were sufficiently prudent to repress every action which 
might imply personal disloyalty to the King. Endicott, the 
founder of Puritan Salem, came to the conclusion 
torn ouTof that the cross in the English flag was a symbol of 
the flag. Popery, and tore it out from one which was flying 
at Salem. Though the feeling which prompted the deed was 
too widely spread to allow the magistrates to older the re- 
placement of the flag, they directed that the royal standard 
bearing the arms of England should be set up where it might 
be seen by all vessels approaching the coast. 1 Almost at the 

1 Palfrey, i. 420. 


same time they banished Roger Williams from the colony. 
The young preacher, who combined the most scep- 

Banishment , , . ... ,, . . . 

of Roger tical and combative of intellects with the warmest 
and most affectionate of hearts, had passed a life of 
combat ever since he first landed in the settlement in 1631, 
when he had startled all around him by announcing, amongst 
other unusual opinions, ' that the magistrate might not punish 
the breach of the Sabbath or any other offence as it was a 
breach of the first table,' a view which may perhaps be con- 
sidered as the germ of the doctrine of toleration of which 
he was afterwards to become the consistent advocate. He 
now gave offence in another way ; for he argued that the 
King had no right to grant to his subjects lands which in reality 
belonged to the Indians, and that the patent by which they 
held the territory of Massachusetts was for that reason null and 
void from the beginning ; whilst he had also argued that the 
magistrates had no right to impose the oath by which they were 
binding all residents to defend their homes. Williams wandered 
away into the wilderness to found the settlement of Rhode 
Island, the first Christian community, which was established 
on the basis of the open and complete acknowledgment of 
religious liberty. 1 

The causes which were driving into exile thousands of men 
unknown to fame, turned towards the New England settlements 
Lord War- the thoughts of a class of men who had hitherto felt 
te're^ilfthe little sympathy with the Separatists. The Earl of 
colony. Warwick had been the President of the Council of 
New England; but there had been some estrangement be- 
tween him and the other members, and in 1632 he had either 
resigned or had been expelled from his post. It is probable that 
the quarrel arose from a difference of opinion relating to the 
course which affairs were even then taking in the Massachusetts 
colony. 2 Warwick was passing from the turbulence of earlier 
years into the steady and resolved Puritanism of maturer life, 
and into a feeling of confirmed opposition to the Court, the 
flames of which had been fanned by the attack made in the 

1 Palfrey, i. 406. 

z As suggested by Mr. Palfrey, i. 399, note. 

1636 CONNECTICUT. 171 

Forest Court in 1634 upon the landowners of Essex. In 1632 
, he had made over a grant which he held of lands in 

mem of Connecticut to several persons, amongst whom were 

Connecticut. r Tir-. ITIT-.I 

two Puritan peers, Lord baye and Lord Brooke, the 
latter the cousin and heir of Fulk Greville. It was not till 
1 635 that they thought of making use of the lands which had 
been conveyed to them. In that year they sent out a small 
number of persons to the new settlement, but the bulk of the 
inhabitants came from Massachusetts. 1 In one point alone the 
new settlers differed from the old colony. Church membership 
was not to form the qualification for citizenship. The extreme 
tension of feeling which produced and maintained the strict 
ecclesiasticism of Massachusetts gave way as soon as it ceased 
to be fanned by opposition. 

The Puritan noblemen had even thought of joining the tide 

of emigration themselves ; but they had as little conception 

l634> as Laud had of the real requirements of colonial life. 

Fngiish When, in 1634, Lords Saye and Brooke, with others 

noblemen ' ~ J ' 

propose to of their friends, proposed to transfer themselves to 
Massachu- New England, they clearly expected that they were 
to be the first in rank there, as they were at home. 
They asked for the establishment in their own favour of an 
hereditary peerage, from the ranks of which alone the Governor 
They de- should hereafter be chosen. The members of this 
creatio'n of a peerage were to bear the simple style of gentlemen, 
peerage. < an ^ for the present the Right Honourable the Lord 
Viscount Saye and Sele, the Lord Brooke, who had already 
been at great disbursements for the public works in New Eng- 
land, and such other gentlemen of approved sincerity and 
worth as they, before their personal remove, shall take into 
their number, should be admitted, for them and their heirs, 
gentlemen of the country ; but for the future, none should be 
admitted into this rank but by the consent of both Houses.' 
A body of hereditary legislators with a veto upon the increase 
of their own numbers was an idea which found as little favour 
with the ecclesiastical democracy of Massachusetts as it would 
have found with the ecclesiastical monarchy of Laud. The 

1 Palfrey, i. 450. 


settlers thanked the lords for their offer. The country, they 
said, ' would thankfully accept it as a singular 
it is re- favour from God and from them, if He should bow 
their hearts to come into the wilderness and help 
them.' "When," they added, "God blesseth any branch of 
any noble or generous family with a spirit or gifts fit for govern- 
ment, it would be a taking of God's name in vain to put such a 
talent under a bushel, and a sin against the honour of magis- 
tracy to neglect such in our public elections. But if God 
should not delight to furnish some of their posterity with gifts 
fit for magistracy, we should expose them rather to reproach 
and prejudice, and the commonwealth with them, than exalt 
them to honour, if we should call them forth, when God doth 
not, to public authority." l 

Nothing was said in the last sentence which the Massachu- 
setts settlers had not already shown themselves prepared to 
1635. carry out. In 1635 young Henry Vane, the son of 
M^tachu- the Comptroller of the Household, landed at Boston, 
setts. His desertion of his native country had been but 

one instance of the repellent effect exercised by the atmo- 
sphere of Charles's Court upon young and ardent minds. As 
a boy of fifteen he had felt that influence of religious self- 
devotion which so often breathes a spirit of earnestness into 
the heart upon the threshold of manhood. In his 
case the change was not evanescent. His opinions 
were not affected by a residence at Oxford, where he was 

1 Palfrey, i. 389, note. The following extract from a sermon preached 
in 1642, God's waiting to be gracious, by Thomas Case, does not seem quite 
to suit this attempt : " Preparations were made by some very considerable 
personages for a Western voyage, the vessel provided, and the goods ready 
to be carried aboard, when an unexpected and almost a miraculous provi- 
dence diverted that design in the very nick of time." Is it possible that 
Case referred to the alleged emigration of Hampden, Pym, and Cromwell ? 
The story that they were to have gone is, indeed, too late in its origin to 
have much value, and Mr. Forster (Life of Pym, 81) has shown that they 
could not have been stopped in 1638. It does not, however, follow that 
the tale is entirely without foundation, and the cause of stoppage may 
have been the order of December, 1634, mentioned at p. 167. If there is 
any truth in the story, 1634 is a more likely date than 1638, when the 
clouds were beginning to lift. 


unable to matriculate in consequence of a refusal to take the 

oaths of allegiance and supremacy. 1 It was perhaps to wean 

him from these fancies that his father sent him to Vienna in 

i6 t 1631 in the train of the ambassador Anstruther.* 

vane at His Puritanism must have relaxed by this time, or 

Anstruther must have been very confiding to the son 

of a minister so high in Charles's favour. All the secrets of 

the embassy were laid open to him, and in this way he, almost 

alone of all men not within the circle of the King's interior 

cabinet, became to some extent acquainted with the secret 

league designed by Charles and the Spanish Government for 

an attack upon the Dutch Republic. 3 When he came home 

he was looked upon as in the fair way to the highest 

honours. " His French," wrote Sir Toby Matthew 

to the elder Vane, " is excellently good, his discourse discreet, 

his fashion comely and fair, and I do venture to foretell that 

he will grow a very fit man for any such honour as his father's 

merits shall bespeak or the King's goodness impart to him." 4 

But young Vane's secret must have been a heavy burden on 

his mind, and may well have had its effect in alienating him 

yet more from the Court. In 1633 his Puritanism took a 

sharper form. The K ing himself interfered to save him from 

that which he regarded as his folly. A conference with Laud 

ended by leaving both parties in the mind in which they had 

come, and at last Vane, in order to escape from domestic 

i6 disquiet, announced his intention of emigrating. In 

Vaneemi- October 1635 he arrived in Massachusetts. Young 

as he was, he was but twenty-three, his opinion 

was at once sought in matters of moment, and in 

the following year he was elected Governor of the 

settlement. 5 

1 Wood, Atk. Ox. Hi. 578. 

8 It is generally said erroneously, on Winthrop's authority, that he was 
attached to his father's embassy. 

3 His letters in French to his father from Vienna in the State Papers, 
Germany, reveal this. Clarendon says he went to Geneva. I suspect he 
Merely knew that he had been abroad somewhere. 

4 Matthew to Vane, March 25, 1632, S. P. Dom. ccxix. 64. 
* Winthrop's History, i. 203, 211. 


It was a time of unexampled difficulty. Stern and unbend- 
ing as the theology of the settlers appeared in the eyes of 
Mrs. Anne ordinary Englishmen, there was a theology more stern 
Hutchinson. an( j un bending still. Its advocate was Anne Hutch- 
inson, who had landed in the colony with her husband in 1634. 
She asserted that sanctification was no test of justification, and 
that those alone were justified in whom the Holy Ghost dwelt. 
Within the narrow limits of the Separatist churches, she drew a 
limit yet more narrow, a limit undefinable by any outward or 
moral test. There was, she said, a covenant of grace and a 
covenant of works. By-and-by, provoked by the antagonism 
raised by her assertions, she proceeded to assume the insight 
which she denied to others. She pointed out the ministers who 
favoured her as being under the covenant of grace, and declared 
that the ministers who opposed her were under a covenant 
of works. The wrath which these denunciations aroused was 
great. Men who had been regarded with the highest respect 
as pre-eminent for Christian graces, and for the fulfilment of 
Christian duties, men who it may be had sacrificed their homes 
and their friends in England for the sake of their faith, found 
themselves pointed at with the finger of scorn as undeserving 
of the very name of a Christian. 

Mrs. Hutchinson was no mean antagonist. Her voluble 
tongue, her readiness of argument and illustration, together 
with her earnestness of purpose, soon procured her numerous 
followers. She gathered large numbers of women for religious 
discussion, and sent them forth to convert their husbands and 

The infant commonwealth was threatened with disruption. 

At last the angry feeling came to a head. One Greensmith 

1637. was fined for saying that only two, or at most three 

Greenlnlith ^ tne mm i sters j w ere under the covenant of grace. 

fined. Then came a sermon from Mrs. Hutchinson's brother, 

Mr. Wheelwright, urging those who were on his side 

wright's to prepare for a spiritual combat, in which they were 

to be like the valiant men round Solomon's back 

with theii swords in their hands, and to make themselves ready 

for battle lest those under the covenant of works should prevail 


against them. He treated the New England ministers, in 
short, just as Leighton had treated the bishops in England 
eight years before. For this sermon he was adjudged to be 
guilty of sedition, though it was not immediately determined 
what penalty should be imposed upon him. 

In the discussions which had taken place Vane had sided 
with Mrs. Hutchinson. His own mystical temperament at- 
tracted him to her doctrines, whilst the absolute cha- 
wiith Mrs. racter of his intellect led him to throw aside all those 
son ' considerations for the danger of the commonwealth 
which weighed deeply with most of the men who, like VVinthrop, 
had long watched over its fortunes. He had conceived the 
noble belief that religious intolerance was a crime, and he was 
shocked to hear the imputation of heresy mingled with the 
imputation of unruliness in the charges brought against Mrs. 
May 17. Hutchinson by her adversaries. On May 17, 1637, 
Vane re- when his year of office was at an end, Winthrop was 

jected for J 

Winthrop. chosen Governor in his place after the first contested 
election in the New World. The first result of the new ad- 
ministration was a law giving power to the magistrates to refuse 
to admit into the settlement persons of whom they disapproved, 
so as to anticipate the scheme which they attributed to Mrs. 
Hutchinson, of flooding the colony with her partisans from 
England. 1 

A paper discussion ensued between Vane and Winthrop. 
At once the controversy was lifted out of the regions of fierce 
Discussion recrimination and angry polemics to the calmer 
vk'nTand atmosphere of principle. Winthrop held that the 
Winthrop. , commonwealth had a right to refuse admission to its 
soil to persons who endangered its peace and even brought 
into question its future existence. Vane, besides arguing that 
the rules laid down in Massachusetts must be such as would 
stand with the King's superior authority, took far higher 
ground. Under the theological form which was natural to 
his own mind and to the subject which he was handling, he 
declared his conviction that no State had a right to suppress 

1 Palfrey, i. 472. Winthrop's History, i. 239. Winihrop's Life of 
Winthrop, ii. 175. 


liberty of speech and thought. Winthrop had argued, he said, 
that Wheelwright's opinions would not ' stand with external 
peace ' but would ' cause divisions ' and would make the people 
look at their magistrates, ministers, and brethren as enemies to 
Christ. What then ? urged Vane ; had not Christ distinctly 
said that he came not to send peace but a sword ? This is the 
thought which runs all through Vane's argument. 1 Winthrop's 
position was substantially the same as Laud's. With the wil- 
derness to fall back upon, he could be content with banishment 
instead of the pillory, but the principle which he advocated 
was the same as that which was accepted by the English Star 
Chamber. Vane cut boldly at its root. This peace, he said 
in effect, which you aim at, this avoidance of strife, is the sign 
of death. Life is a battle and a conflict, and you must submit 
to its conditions if you are to win its prizes. 

In thus anticipating the central doctrine of the Areopagitica, 

Vane spoke a truth for all ages. It does not follow that his 

ideal could be realised immediately. Gold, it is said. 

Vane s 

theory not may be bought too dear, and there may be sacrifices 
ised It which are too great to make even for the sake of the 
pearl of liberty. Those who possess the power to 
tolerate diversities of opinion may fairly ask that the concession 
made will not be used as a lever to overthrow by violence the 
whole fabric of society. In Massachusetts it was impossible to 
feel any such assurance. The elements of which the colony 
was composed were exactly those most likely to be goaded 
into fierce antagonism b'y theological discussion. There was 
no population half-sceptical, half-careless, to keep the balance 
between rival churchmen, or to trim the vessel front time to 
time so as to restrain the hand of the persecutor. Above all, 
as Winthrop knew well, dissension in Massachusetts would be 
Laud's opportunity. Unless the settlement could continue to 
show a united front to the mother country, its dangers would 
be immeasurably increased. Winthrop felt that he was prac- 
tically in the position of the commander of the garrison of a 
besieged fortress. Many things allowable and praiseworthy in 

1 Winthrop's declaration, with Vane's reply and Winthrop's rejoinder, 
are in Hutchinson's Collation, 63. 

1637 MARYLAND. 177 

time of peace are neither allowable nor praiseworthy in time of 
war. He felt towards Vane and his theories very much as 
Cromwell felt towards them when he drove him out of the 
House of Commons with the cry " The Lord deliver me from 
Sir Harry Vane." 

The day has come when it is possible to do justice to 

Winthrop and Vane alike. For the moment there was no 

place for Vane any longer in Massachusetts. After a 

Vanes re- , . 11- T-, 

turn to brief delay, he took ship to return to England. His 
visit to the New World had ended in apparent failure ; 
but the seed which he had sown had not been thrown away. 
It would reappear in due season to bear fruit for the nourish- 
ment of Europe and America. 

Strangely enough, at the very time when the ideas of 
toleration were put forth in vain in New England, another 

i623 part of the American Continent was witnessing their 
Baltimore's practical adoption. In 1623 Sir George Calvert, 

settlement .. , , - _ . _ . . 

in New- afterwards the first Lord Baltimore, had. whilst 
founded. stm Secretary of State> rec eived a grant of New- 
foundland. After his change of religion and his consequent 
resignation of office, finding little scope for his energies in 
England, he had devoted both time and means to the en- 
couragement of the colony. The poverty of the soil and the 
climate were against him, and after a long struggle with the 
forces of nature, he determined to transfer his operations to a 

i6a8 more southern land. A visit to Virginia in 1628 
His visit to ended in the refusal of the settlers to allow him 
irgmia. ^ Q ^gjj amon g s t them unless he would take the 
oaths of supremacy and allegiance, and he thus became 
convinced that it would be necessary for him to seek new 
territory, if he was to find shelter for his co-religionists from 
the English law. 

The land which he chose was that to which Charles gave 
the name of Maryland in honour of his Queen. The real 

, 6 , 2 founder of the colony indeed did not live to witness 
De\th of 5 ' the completion of the charter of Maryland ; but his 
Daidmore. son , the second Lord Baltimore, succeeded to his 
American projects as well as to his peerage. 



The charter granted by Charles has an interest beyond its 

bearing on the institutions of America. Copied word for word 

from the earlier charter of Newfoundland, except 

June 20. 

Charter of where differences were absolutely required, it reveals 
the ideal of monarchical government which was pro- 
mulgated by James and adopted by his son, as clearly as the 
ideal of aristocratic government entertained by the Puritan lords 
is depicted in the overtures of Saye and Brooke to the settlers of 
Clauses re- Massachusetts. Lord Baltimore, whose authority in 
dvirfovem- Maryland was to be truly of a kingly nature, was to 
ment. De th e proprietor of the colony, and this proprietor- 

ship was to descend to his heirs. The government was to be a 
constitutional one, as James and Charles understood the con- 
stitution of England. New laws could only be made by Lord 
Baltimore himself, ' with the advice, assent, and approbation of 
the free men of the same province, or of the greater part of 
them, or of the delegates and deputies.' It was the right of 
counsel, not the right of control, which was conceded. The 
free men and the deputies were not to make laws without the 
consent of the proprietor. If sudden accidents happened, Lord 
Baltimore might issue ordinances to have the force of law, 
provided that they were consonant with reason and the laws of 
England, and did not violate the right of any one ' in member, 
life, freehold, goods, or chattels.' The appointment of judges 
and magistrates was to rest with the proprietor, who was also 
to exercise the functions of commander-in- chief. 

The theory of government thus propounded was so difficult 

to realise in England, and so impossible to realise in a new 

colony, that, except for the light which this part of 

Clause re- " 

latin? to the charter throws upon the ideas which prevailed in 
cai govern- the English Court, it would be unnecessary to refer 
to it here. It is otherwise with the brief phrases 
relating to the religion of the future settlement. Baltimore was 
entrusted in Maryland, as he had been entrusted in Newfound- 
land, with ' the patronage and advowsons of all churches which, 
with the increasing worship and religion of Christ within the 
said region, hereafter shall happen to be built ; together with 
licence and faculty of erecting and founding churches, chapels, 


and places of worship, in convenient and suitable places, within 
the premises, and of causing the same to be dedicated and 
consecrated according to the ecclesiastical laws of England.' l 

The retention of the exact phrases used in the New- 
foundland charter requires explanation. When inserted in 
Explanation l ^ e g rant made in 1623 to a Secretary of State who 
of the latter. was st jn a member of the English Church, they 
would undoubtedly act as an establishment of that Church 
in the colony, though it would be an establishment arising 
rather from the goodwill of the authorities of the settlement 
than from any words in the charter itself. The proprietor 
was empowered to found churches, and to have them con- 
secrated according to the laws of the Church of England, if 
he chose to do so ; but there was nothing to compel him tc 
do this unless he pleased, or to prevent him from founding 
other Catholic or Nonconformist places of worship by the 
side of the churches consecrated after the directions of the 

It is impossible to suppose that words so vague in their 
meaning were re-inserted in the Maryland charter without due 
Probable deliberation. It was notorious in 1632 that both the 
h,g d b?tween first Lord Baltimore and his son were Catholics, and 
fnd t the >re tnat l ^ e y intended to establish in Maryland a place 
Kin g- of refuge for English Catholics who wished to escape 

from the penal laws. May it not therefore be taken for granted 
that the phrases of the charter were intended to cover a secret 
understanding between Baltimore and the King? Charles 
could not, with any regard for the necessities of his position, 
make mention of his purposed toleration of the Papal Church 
in Maryland. Neither could he, if he meant to favour Balti- 
more's object, insert words in the charter compelling the sole 
establishment of the English Church. The clause as it stood 
would look like a provision for the maintenance of English 
Church forms without being anything of the kind, and the 
success with which this object was achieved may be judged 

1 Bozman's Hist, of Maryland, ii. I. The Charters may be compaied 
on the Patent Rolls, 21 James I. Part 19 ; 8 Charles I. Part 3, 

N 2 


from the fact that even in our own day an American writer has 
thought himself justified in so interpreting it. 1 

What was the exact nature of Charles's understanding with 
Baltimore cannot now be ascertained. But, judging from what 
followed, it is probable that there was an engagement on the 
part of the proprietor that if the English Government threw no 
obstacles in the way of the development of his own Church in 
Maryland, he would allow no interference with such of the 
colonists who were and chose to remain Protestants. 

The colonists, in fact, who sailed in November 1633, number- 

, 633 . ing between two and three hundred, were a mingled 

K>nUt C sa body of both religions, though the few gentlemen who 

mixed body. {QQ^ p art m the enterprise were almost, if not quite 

all, Catholics. Baltimore did not himself leave England, but 

,634. he deputed his brother, Leonard Calvert, a Catholic 

March 27. jj^g hj mse if to act as Governor in his name. The 

i hey land 

in Maryland, settlers landed in Maryland on March 27 of the 
following year. 

Three years later a struggle began for political rights. The 
colonists firmly resisted the claim of the proprietor to dictate 
,637-9. their laws, and they made good their opposition 
poiitfc g a'f f r w ' tn Itol 6 difficulty. From the beginning there had 
rights. been no thought of hostility between Protestants and 
secured'?" Catholics, and whatever germs of discord may have 
Maryland. ] a j n hj(j were stifled in the harmony arising from joint 
resistance to the same political adversary. In 1639 Lord Balti- 
more gave way, and permitted an assembly to frame its own laws. 
Its first act was to acknowledge distinctly the position of the 
Church of Rome. " Holy Church within this province," it was 
declared, " shall have all her rights and liberties." At the same 

1 In the Contemporary Review for Sept. 1876, Mr. Neill, in criticising 
various statements about the colonisation of Maryland, argues that the 
charter, ' while recognising Christianity in general terms, confined its 
development within the Church of England.' I believe the interpretation 
given above is more correct, and I am quite sure that Mr. Neill is wrong 
in saying that the 'Holy Church,' which, according to the statute of 
1639, was to ' have all her rights and liberties,' was ' that of the charter, the 
Church of England.' Such a phrase was never, to my knowledge, applied 
to the Church of England, after the Reformation. 


time another Act was passed, to secure all free Christian inhabi- 
tants in the enjoyment of ' all such rights, liberties, immunities, 
privileges, and free customs, as any natural-born subject of 
England hath or ought to have or enjoy in the realm of Eng- 
land, saving in such cases as the same are or may be altered or 
changed by the laws and ordinances of this province ; ' and this 
Act secured what had never been questioned in Maryland, com- 
plete liberty of Protestant worship. 1 

It was thus that, while Roger Williams and Vane preached 
to deaf ears in Massachusetts, the force of circumstances brought 
the followers of opposing creeds in Maryland, in their inter- 
course with one another, to give prominence to the points in 
which they agreed rather than to those in which they differed. 
In Maryland the Protestants, slack in zeal and dependent for 
organisation upon their Catholic leaders, in all probability never 
thought for an instant of erecting a dominant Church, whilst the 
Catholics, planted in the midst of zealous Protestant settlements 
on either side, and depending for support on the goodwill of 
the King, could not venture, even if they had wished it, to 
oppress their Protestant fellow-colonists. 

The story of Maryland was to some extent an anticipation 

of the future story of England. In England there was to be a 

struggle for political rights, which was to lead to the 


between acceptance of the doctrine of religious toleration for 

Maryland .... 

and Eng- those who stood together in resisting oppression. 
That struggle indeed was to be far harder and far 
longer than the one in the clearings of the woods by the side of 
the Chesapeake. Yet this compensation, at least, was given to 
the horrors of the strife, that the demand for toleration clothed 
itself in fitting words, and that the voices of Milton and Vane 
and Cromwell lifted up a standard round which the thought of 
the world might rally, and which would make the acquisition 
of religious liberty not a fortuitous occurrence leaving no lesson 
behind it, but the victory of a truth for all times and all nations. 

1 Bosnian, ii. 107. 




THE doctrine announced in June 1636 by Berkeley from the 

Bench, 1 and in July by Coke at Oxford, 2 was nothing less than 

l63 6. the full-blown theory of absolutism. Sooner or later 

The" ne f t ^ ie question whether the supreme power was lodged 

Charles's j n ^ e King alone, or in the King acting in con- 
ment. currence with his Parliament, was sure to be merged 

in the larger question whether the King could permanently 
exercise authority in defiance of the nation. That further 
question was now distinctly put. Of the claim to Divine right 
which fills so large a space in the minds of modern historians, 
which was first put forward by Imperialist and Royalist oppo- 
nents of the Papacy, and which even in Charles's reign formed 
the staple of many a village sermon, little was said by the 
King's leading supporters in Church or State. Such men con- 
tented themselves with disengaging from the storehouse of 
older constitutional principles the theory that the King was 
vested with the power of finally deciding what was for the 
interest of the nation. It was not by inventing anything new, 
but by thrusting out of sight those considerations by which this 
theory had been balanced, that an arbitrary and despotic 
Government was erected in England. 

Ostensibly, at least, Charles's government was a legal one. 
He was ready at any time to submit his pretensions to the 
its ostensible J uci g es > though he had taken good care that no 
legality. judge likely to dispute his will should have a seat on 
the Bench. The Petition of Right was still acknowledged to 
1 See page 103. * See page 147. 


be in force. It was, however, of little avail to a prisoner to be 
able to compel his gaoler to present him before the King's 
Bench with a written signification of the cause of his com- 
mittal, if the judges of that court were certain to refuse to 
give him relief, and if the mere fact of his having appealed to 
them in vain was equally certain to bring upon him a heavy 
sentence in the Star Chamber, should ill fortune bring him there. 
The most important clause in the Petition, therefore, had 
become a dead letter, not because the judges had openly 
refused to take it into consideration, but because no prisoner 
since Eliot had thought fit to avail himself of its provisions. 
The clause relating to taxation was disposed of in the same 
way. It was treated with all possible respect. The King took 
good care not to levy taxes or loans or benevolences. But he 
took the money he wanted for all that. Neither tonnage and 
poundage, nor composition for knighthood, nor ship-money 
was named in the Petition ; and the next time that more 
money was required, Charles's lawyers would take good care 
to make the demand in some form which would put them, 
verbally at least, in the right. 

No abler or more resolute advocate of this system could be 
found than Wentworth. Yet, so far as we know, he had not 
.. l6 35- been consulted on English affairs since his arrival in 

Wentworth s 

support of it. Dublin. His vigorous government in Ireland, and 

especially his proceedings in Connaught, had been stamped 

Sept. 3 o. with Charles's approbation. Although not a single 

Wentworth's person at Court seems to have found fault with 


plantation, his treatment of the landowners of Connaught on 
the ground on which it was most assailable namely, its in- 
justice to the Irish population the Court swarmed with men 
ready to take up the interests of any great nobleman or great 
official who felt himself aggrieved. The Earls of Pembroke 
and Salisbury had done their best to save Lord Cork from the 
Attacks penalty of his misappropriation of Church lands, 
upon him. Others were ready to plead for Lord Wilmot, a 
veteran who had been called to account by the Deputy for 
taking Crown property to his own use. Lord Clanricarde, or 
St. Albans, as he was called in the English peerage, and his 


son, Lord Tunbridge, were themselves in England to re- 
monstrate against the wrong done to them in Galway. Laud 
warned his friend of the risk he was running. " I find," he 

wrote, " that notwithstanding all your great services 
Laud warns in Ireland, which are most graciously accepted by the 

King, you want not them which whisper, and perhaps 
speak louder where they think they may, against your pro- 
ceedings in Ireland as being over full of personal prosecutions 
against men of quality, and they stick not to instance St. 
Albans, the Lord Wilmot, and the Earl of Cork ; } and this is 
somewhat loudly spoken by some on the Queen's side. And, 
although I know a great part of this proceeds from your wise 
and noble proceedings against the Romish party in that 
kingdom, yet that shall never be made the cause in public, but 
advantages taken, such as they can, from these and the like 
particulars, to blast you and your honour if they are able to do 
it. I know you have a great deal more resolution in you than 
to decline any service due to the King, State, or Church for 
the barking of discontented persons, and God forbid but you 
should ; and yet, my Lord, if you could find a way to do all 
these great services and decline these storms, I think it would 
be excellent well thought on." 2 

Better advice it was impossible to give, but it was not 
advice which Wentworth was likely to take. It was his man- 
December, ner to look straight at his aim, and to care little for 
HersanT ^ f eenn g s ne wounded in attaining it. Least of all 
Wentworth. W as he likely to care for the wretched combination 
of interested intriguers which gathered round the Queen. 
Cottington might find it useful to advocate the claims of the 
Roman Catholics. Holland might find it useful to advocate 
the claims of the Puritans. Wentworth passed on his way 
without heeding. His chief regret was that he could never 
feel quite sure of support from the King. He had adjured 
Charles not to squander the grant of the Irish people on his 
English courtiers. Early in December he learned that Lord 
Nithsdale was to have io,ooo/. paid him out of the subsidies of 

1 ' This Earl ' in the original. I have altered it to make it intelligible. 

2 Laud to Wentworth. Nov. 16, Strafford Letters i. 479. 


Ireland. All that his remonstrances gained was that Charles 
promised that he would not so offend again. 

Wentworth pushed on, heedless of friend or foe- Clan- 

ricirda died in November, and a rumour at once spread that 

he owed his death to Wentworth's malice. Went- 


Death of worth felt the insult bitterly, but the only notice he 
cianncarde. e King to take into his 

own hands the authority which the late Earl had exercised in 
Galway. 1 

It was not long before the courtiers had a fresh charge to 
bring against Wentworth. Amongst the officials whom the 
Wentworth I j r d Deputy regarded with suspicion and distrust 
and Mount- was L O rd Mountnorris, who, as Sir Francis Anneslev, 

nurris. J ' 

had been one of Falkland's opponents. As Vice- 
Treasurer of Ireland, the whole of the accounts of the kingdom 
passed through his hands. In such an office Wentworth 
looked for scrupulous probity and decorum. He complained 
that Mountnorris was a gay and reckless liver, fond of play, 
and suspected of accepting bribes in the execution of his 
office. As early as in the spring of 1634 he charged him with 
taking percentages to which he was not entitled, and obtained 

1634. an order from the English Privy Council to stop thf. 

May. practice. Mountnorris treated the order with con- 
October. r 
December, tempt. In that winter session of Parliament which 

caused Wentworth so much trouble, he assumed the airs of a 
leader. From that moment it was evident that Wentworth, who 
well remembered how Mountnorris had headed the attack on 
the last Lord Deputy, would not rest till he had found the 
means of ridding himself of so insubordinate an official. 

A fresh act of petty malversation was discovered in the 
spring of 1635. Mountnorris was in possession of a fee of 

1635 . 2o/. a year as the auditor of accounts which had no 
March. existence. It was whispered, too, that either he or 

his servants had refused payment upon the Deputy's warrant, 
April, till a bribe had been received from the person to 
whom it was payable. 

1 Wentworth to the King, Dec. 5, Strafford Letters , i. 491. 


For some time Mountnorris had been talking of resigning 

his place, and had even asked Wentworth to arrange the terms 

on which he was to receive compensation from his 

Mountnorris . . 

talks of re- successor. At the beginning of April he had broken 
off all treaty with the Deputy, and had announced 
that he would leave his case in the hands of the King. 1 

From that moment secret dislike was exchanged for open 
defiance. One day a brother of Mountnorris, who was a lieu- 
Annesie * tenant in a troop of horse, was reproved by Went- 
insubordina- worth for disorderly conduct at a review. Young 
Annesley replied to the Deputy's reprimand by an 
insulting gesture. Wentworth's quick eye caught the act of 
insubordination. He brought down his cane gently on the 
lieutenant's shoulder, and told him that if he repeated the 
offence he would ' lay him over the pate.' 

Not long afterwards a fresh scene occurred. Another 
A stoo i Annesley, a kinsman of Mountnorris, dropped a 
wemwonh's st o1 on the Deputy's gouty foot. Then came a 
foot. dinner at the Lord Chancellor's, at which Mount- 

norris was present. The story of the dropping of the stool 
\ P rii 8. was mentioned. " Perhaps," said Mountnorris, " it 
at^he'tord was done in revenge of that public affront that the 
chancellor's. Lord Deputy had done me formerly. But I have a 
brother who would not take such a revenge." 

Wentworth appealed to the King. He received in return 
two letters, the one authorising him to order an inquiry into 
Mountnorris's malversations in office, the other in- 
Wentworth structing him to bring him before a court-martial for 
proceed*" 1 1 the words spoken at the dinner. Both these letters 
ikfount- were dated July 31. For some unexplained reason 
non-is. no action was taken on them for four months, and 
it is possible that Wentworth was still hoping for Mountnorris's 
resignation to cut the knot. In the end of November Mount- 
norris was summoned to give an account of his official conduct 
before a committee of the Council. The Deputy had a further 

1 Wentworth to Coke, May 13, Oct. 6, Dec. 16, 1634, March 25, 
April 7, 1635 ; the King to Wentworth, July 31, 1635, Strafford Letters^ 
I 244, 304, 345, 391, 400, 448. 


rod in store for him. 1 If he was Vice-Treasurer of Ireland, he 
was also an officer in the army, and on December 1 2 

Dec. 12. " 

'i he court- he was summoned to a Council of War in the Castle. 
On his arrival he found that no one knew what the 
business of the day was to be. He took the seat assigned him 
by his rank, near the head of the table. At last the Deputy 
arrived, and informed the Council that they were called to sit 
as a court-martial on Mountnorris. The language used at the 
Lord Chancellor's dinner had broken two of the laws of war 
by which the army was governed. By one of these it was 
ordered that no man should ' give any disgraceful words, or 
commit any act to the disgrace of any person in his army or 
garrison, or any part thereof, upon pain of imprisonment, public 
disarming, and banishment from the army.' The other ordained 
that no one should ' offer any violence, or contemptuously dis- 
obey his commander, or do any act or speak any words which 
are like to breed any mutiny in the army or garrison, or im- 
peach the obeying of the General or principal officer's direc- 
tions, upon pain of death.' On these two grounds Wentworth 

' Writing on Jan. 2, 1636 (Works, vii. 216) Laud says that "William 
Raylton," Wentworth's agent, "caire to me and told me that the business 
of the farms were stirred again, and that the Lord Mountnorris had a hand 
in it. I found the King very reserved, yet thus much I discovered, that 
certainly the Lord Mountnorris had made some offer about it. And I hear 
from a good hand since I spake with the King, that whereas the King hath 
now but 8,ooo/. per annum, he shall then have 2O,ooo/. What truth is in 
this I know not. But I am most confident that if the King may gain 
I2,ooo/. a year, you will be very well advised before you will stand so much 
in his light, having so many eyes upon both your actions and your ends." 
Later in the same letter, referring to the Court-martial, Laud says, " I 
pray God this be not interpreted as done by you in revenge for the farms." 
Writing in answer on March 9 (Strafford Letters, i. 517), Wentworth says, 
" If any should impute this to be done in revenge of Mountnorris his 
stirring concerning the farms, my answer is full and direct, it was moved 
long before he offered anything in this business : so as in truth the ques- 
tioning of him was the mere impulsive cause to strain him to that course, 
thereby, if it might have been, to save himself, which I daresay he would 
otherwise have been as far off as anything in the world." But it does not 
follow that Wentworth's specially angry feeling in December was not due 
to the business of the farms. 


demanded sentence against Mountnorris. He had been himself 
publicly affronted by Mountnorris's description of the scene 
which followed on Annesley's insubordination, whilst the words 
relating to the brother who would not take such a revenge 
were to be regarded as an incitement to that brother to take a 
revenge of a more violent kind than the dropping of a stool. 

In vain Mountnorris, stupified by the unexpected blow, 
denied that the words had been correctly reported, and begged 
The sen- tnat counsel might be allowed to assist him in his 
tence. defence. Witnesses were produced to prove that the 

words were his, and he was told that it was not the custom of 
a court-martial to allow the prisoner the benefit of an advocate. 
As soon as he was withdrawn, Wentworth demanded sentence 
in respect of the articles he had cited. It is true that he took 
no part in the deliberations of the court, and that he remained 
seated in his place bareheaded, as became a suitor for justice. 
But he could not divest himself of the commanding aspect 
which seldom failed to secure obedience, of the knit brow and 
flashing eye which announced him as a ruler of men. It is no 
wonder that his enemies spoke of that court as overawed by 
his presence. Yet it is hardly probable that if Wentworth had 
left the room the court would have decided otherwise than it did. 
Its business was to decide according to the strict letter of the 
law, and it was undeniable that against the letter of the law an 
offence had been committed. 

After a short deliberation Mountnorris was recalled. Sen- 
tence of death was formally pronounced upon him. Then 
Sentence. Wentworth addressed him. He might, he said, order 
pronounced. out ^ p rovost Marshal at once to execute the 
judgment of the court. But, as far as life was concerned, he 
would supplicate his Majesty. " I would rather lose my hand," 
he added, " than you should lose your head." ' 

1 Wentworth to Coke, Dec. 14. Wentworth on the Council of War 
to Coke, Dec. 15, Strafford Lettttrs, i. 497, 498. Cromwell to Conway, 
Dec. 17, S. P. Ireland. Rushworth, Trial of Strafford, 186. Mount- 
norris must have known perfectly well from these last words that his life 
would be spared, and all representation of his agonising expectation of 
death whilst in prison is therefore pure rhetoric. 


It is one thing to justify the conduct of the court-martial : 
it is another thing to justify the conduct of Wentworth. The 
Reflections extreme powers entrusted to a commander by martial 
on . j aw are manifestly intended only to be put in force 

when necessity requires. The very code under which Went- 
worth acted bore words limiting its employment to cases of 
necessity. In the case of Mountnorris it is evident that at the 
time when the trial was instituted no such necessity existed. 
In April there was undoubtedly some slight danger. In the 
excited state of mind in which Mountnorris and his kinsmen 
were, it was not altogether impossible that some violent act 
might have been attempted. Since that time seven months 
had passed away. The rash words had been followed by no 
acts of any kind. There was no such danger as that against 
which the Articles of War were intended to guard. Wentworth 
was guilty of applying to the destruction of a political opponent 
the mere technical letter of the law. 

It is happily unnecessary to argue that this was the true 
explanation of the case. We have it upon Wentworth's own 
confession. More than two years later he acknowledged to 
Mountnorris himself that all he had wanted was to get rid of 
him. 1 

So thought Wentworth in cold blood. It is hardly likely 
that he thought so at the time. AVith his heart filled with scorn 
Wentworth's f the man wno had ventured, without character or 
accounted talents, to pose himself as his rival, every angry 
his conduct. wo rd which Mountnorris had spoken, every corrupt 
or thoughtless deed which Mountnorris had done, probably 
branded itself upon his mind, not merely as an insult to him- 
self, but as evidence of insubordination to the King and treason 
to the State. Most likely, indeed, when the court was sitting, 

1 " At my Lord Mountnorris's departure hence he seemed wondrously 
h imbled, as much as Chaucer's friar, that would not for him anything 
should be dead, so I told him I never wished ill to his estate nor person, 
further than to remove him thence, where he was as well a trouble as an 
offence unto me ; that being done (howbeii, through his own fault, with 
more prejudice to him than I intended) I could wish there were no more 
debate betwixt us." Wentworth to Conway, Jan. 6, 1638, Strajford 
Letters t ii. 144. See too the note to p. 187. 


the idea that the cnarge brougnt against Mountnorris had been 
affected by lapse of time never presented itself to his mind. 
To his fierce offended spirit all time was present, and April was 
as December. 

The letter in which Wentworth announced the sentence to 

his friend Conway. the son of the late Secretary, was plainly 

Dec. 23. written in the full belief that Mountnorris was the 

Wentworth's aggressor. " In my own secret counsels," he wrote of 

immediate * 

defence. his assailant, "I could to myself never discover those 
rough hands of Esau they so grievously and loudly lay to my 
charge ; for I dare say that in all the actions of this nature 
which ever befell me, I shall be found still on the defensive 
part ; and if, because I am necessitated to preserve myself 
from contempt and scorn, and to keep and retain with me a 
capacity to serve his Majesty with that honour becoming the 
dignity of that place I here by his Majesty's favour exercise, 
therefore I must be taken to be such a rigid Cato the Censor 
as should render me almost inhospitable to humankind ; yet 
shall not that persuade me to suffer myself to be trodden upon 
by men indeed of that savage and insolent nature they would 
have me believed to be, or to deny myself and my own sub- 
sistence so natural a motion as is the defence of a man's self." ' 
It was not in Wentworth's nature to offer a public defence 
of his conduct. To his intimate friends he was less reserved. 
ig 6 A few weeks brought him tidings that the English 
Feb. i 4 . Court was up in arms against him. What he had 

VVentworlh's 11-, /- i 

letter to ' already written to Conway, he now wrote more ex- 
plicitly and defiantly to Captain Price. " Were it 
not," he complained, " that such hath ever been my fortune in 
the whole course of my life to have things imputed unto me as 
, crimes whereof I was not at all guilty, it would have 

Complains of 

being ac- been unto me the strangest in the world to hear my- 
cianrickard's self so bloodily traduced as to be made the author of 
my Lord St. Albans' ' 2 death. But it is the property 
of malice to draw other men as ugly as itself, and albeit it love 
not the person, yet doth it desire he should be like itself, 

1 Wentworth to Conway, Dec. 23, Strafford Letters, i. 502. 
1 Wentwortk here gives Clanrickard's English title. 


but su .h loose draughts as these will be but admitted to hang 
in some obscure corner for the meaner sort of people to feed 
upon, will never dare to abide long nearer the light where noble 
and skilful eyes will quickly find out their falsehood and impos- 
ture, not to be originals drawn after the life, but base copies 
slubbered over only for sale, without either truth or beauty, but 
barely as pleased the painter to devise them. 

" Now as that death was charged unto me as chance-medley 
at least, so I may imagine the sentence of the Council of War 
EX lains upon Mountnorris will be found against me as wilful 
his conduct murder. Sure the billows will go high in this case, 

to Mount- 
norris. without one drop of good will to either his lordship 

or me ; for a disaffection to me, not any affection to him, is 
sufficient to move some to proceed to sentence and fault me for 
him, nay, I fear, to condemn me too before ever I be heard ; 
and then how is it possible for me to prevent it ? For they have 
given judgment already upon me, and how then will it acquit 
me to show they have taken the mark amiss, that I had no part 
at all in the sentence, that it was done by all the prime officers 
of that army, assisted by at least fourteen captains, privy coun- 
cillors, and others. 

" Alas ! " continued Wentworth, after recounting the pro- 
ceedings of the court, "all this comes too late. Halifax law ' 
, hath been executed in kind, I am already hanged, 

Complains of . . * 

being tra- and now we come to examine and consider of the 

evidence ; wherefore I will lay by me this truth 

which fully satisfieth myself, and betake myself to justify the 

justice, reason, and necessity of that decree ; howbeit I confess 

I can add nothing to the weight it carries in itself, 

Argues that 

discipline yet I must needs say that if men, soldiers or officers, 

must be 1-1 i i 

maintained, may assume a. liberty to traduce their general, to 
endeavour to effect him cheap and vile in the sight of those 
he is to govern ; and all this gratis, without control ; how is it 
possible to govern an army, nay, so much as a company? If 
therefore discipline be necessary to contain licentious and 
encourage modest spirits ; that, if any are to be subject to this 

1 To be hanged first and tried afterwards, like Lydford law in Devcu- 


discipline, then most properly those that are officers and mem- 
bers of an army are to subject themselves unto it ; if any orders 
or rules of an army to be without exception, then those most 
convincing that are not made upon the present occasion to 
serve a turn, but such as have been published and known 
long beforehand, nay the very same individually this army hath 
ever been governed under before I was born ; and finally, if 
any judgment and execution thereon to be admitted to be in 
kind, when so much as when the army is in march, the troops 
in motion ? And will any mind do such a violence to its own 
candour and ingenuity as to deny that all or any of these do 
not occur in the case of this gallant fellow?" 

No doubt it would have been hopeless to attempt to con- 
vince Wentworth that if he had not manufactured new laws 
' to serve a turn,' he had given them an application which they 
had never been intended to have. Against a charge of a 
different description he was far more successful. " But," he 
wrote, " I hear it is mightily objected that he is a Peer, and a 
capital insolence to pass a sentence of death on him that is 
only triable in these exigents by his peers. 'Tis true, to taint 
Re lies to ^ m m ^ OO( ^> to forfeit his estate, that compli- 
the argument ment the law requires : but if any man can show me 

that Mount- . ... 

norris was that privilege ever insisted upon, or at least allowed, 
his peerage, to any listed as a soldier under the command of his 
General, they say well ; else all may be admitted, 
and the sentence stand firm nevertheless ; and to speak truth, 
if Peers insist upon such privileges as subsist not with the 
government of an arrnv, where the remedies as the mischiefs 
are sudden, and requne an instant expedient, 1 they must 
resolve not to bear arms rather than whole armies be put in 
hazard by legal, and to them impossible, forms to be observed. 
" Then they allege the sentence to be too sharp : that's 
nothing against the justice of it ; but when the execution is 
stayed, where is the sharpness? I think no man held his 

1 The best comment on this is in the words of the Man-gers of the 
Commons : " The words are pretended to be spoken in April, my Lord 
of Stratford procures the King's letter in July, and questions it not till 
December; here is no opus esf." Rushworth, Trial of Strafford, 202. 


life to be in danger. For myself, were I put to the choice 
that he must lose his life, or I my hand, this should 

Argues that ' . 7 

the sentence redeem that ; and howbeit it was never in any man s 
ixfcarrfed heart to hurt the least nail of his finger, the example 
and terror of it to move men to descend into them- 
selves and to avoid such outrages in the future, was by so much 
the more allowable, nay indeed, commendable and necessary. 

"Thus have I given you my judgment upon the whole 
matter as an indifferent man, as little concerned as any of the 
Comments speculativi themselves, and as little to answer for the 
w"ho h are' sentence as they, but let them philosophy and censure 
dissatisfied, other men wiser, and it may be better knowing than 
these flesh flies that lie buzzing and blowing upon men of virtue 
to taint their credits and honours, and render them, if they 
could, as contemptible, as mean as themselves ; I say the 
sentence given by the council of war upon Mountnorris was, in 
my poor opinion, just and necessary, his fault, and the persons 
whom it concerned, equally and rightly considered. For the rest, 
if you be in any point unsatisfied, look upon the sentence, which 
my agent can show you, and that will abundantly satisfy you." ' 
Some at least there were who were not satisfied. " Tis held 
by many," wrote one of Wentworth's correspondents, " a severe 
sentence. They say, if he had meant any ill, or that 
main\Us. ill should have come thereof, he would have whis- 
pered those words in corners amongst swordsmen, 
not been so great a fool to utter them at the Lord Chan- 
cellor's table, a great officer and councillor of the kingdom. 
They wonder that the Viscount Moore should be a witness and 
a judge, and, in fine, conclude that it cannot be paralleled in 
any time, that any man for the like words no enemy in the 
country so long time after should be adjudged to die." 2 

Mountnorris was stripped of all his offices on the report 
of the Committee of Investigation. He did not 

Mountnorris . , , . . . , , , 

expelled remain more than three days in prison, though he 
fice * was afterwards sent back on his refusal to acknow- 
ledge the justice of his sentence. 

1 Wentworth to Price, Feb. 14, S. P. Ireland. 
1 Garrard to Wentworth, Jan. 25, Stratford Letters, i. 509. 


The Vice-Treastirership had long been destined by Went- 
worth to the son of the Lord Chancellor, Sir Adam Lofttis. 
Wentworth had actually advised him, in order to make sure of 
the succession, to send over 6,000!. to England, to be distributed 
amongst Cpttington, Windebank, and others. Either from pure 
loyalty or because, as Laud shrewdly suspected, the secret had 
oozed out, Cottington offered the whole sum to the King. 
Charles took the money, and used it in the purchase of lands 
in Scotland, which he was at that time buying as an endow- 
ment for the two Scottish archbishoprics. 1 Loftus became 
Vice-Treasurer of Ireland. 

Although Charles's decision in the Deputy's favour silenced 
Wentworth the voices of his accusers, Wentworth knew well that 
vUit Eng- 1 tne storm might at any time burst out again, and he 
land. asked leave to visit England on private business, with 

the hope that he might justify his conduct to the King more 
fully than it was possible for him to do by letter. 

In June 1636,, Wentworth was at Charles's Court. With his 

Sovereign on his side, he had enough of lip-service 

Wentworth from friends and enemies alike. By the King's direc- 

urt ' tion he appeared before the Council to defend his 
conduct in Ireland. 

Wentworth's . defence was a splendid narrative of triumphs 

achieved. The Church, he said, was relieved from its poverty, 

and united in doctrine and discipline with the 

June 21. 

Wentworth's Church of England. The Irish exchequer had been 
saved from ruin. When he landed there was a yearly 
deficit of 24,ooo/. and an enormous debt. In a few months 
the debt would be paid, whilst a sum of 40,000/1 had been set 
aside to buy up sources of revenue which had been mortgaged, 
and which, when recovered, would bring in 9,45o/. a year. 
There was an increase of i8,ooo/. in the revenue, and thus as 
scon as the mortgages were paid off the deficit would be con- 
verted into a surplus. Other sources of income might easily be 

1 Cottington to Wentworth, Jan. 27 ; Wentworth to Cottington, 
Feb. 13, Strafford Letters, i. 511, 514. Laud to Wentworth, Jan. 23, 
Feb. 4, Laud's Works, vii. 229, 240. 


opened, and a considerable saving in the expenditure effected. 
There would soon be a surplus of 6o,ooo/. 

Such an exposition of financial success offered a sore tempta- 
tion to the hungry English courtiers. Wentworth pleaded 
earnestly with the Council to support him in his efforts to save 
the money for the public service. 

He then proceeded to show that he had not sacrificed the 

interests of the State to those of the Treasury. The soldiers, 

he said, were well paid and well disciplined. Every 

The army. . . . , , . . 

man who served in the army had passed in review 
under his own eyes. When the troops were on the march they 
paid fairly for everything they took, no longer satisfying their 
wants by force, as if they had been in an enemy's country. 
They were now welcome in every place, where before they were 
an abomination to the inhabitants. The King was well served 
at the same time. Never had an army been so completely 
master of Ireland. 

A full treasury and a strong military force may easily be 
compatible with the direst misgovernment Wentworth in- 
sisted that he was not liable to this reproach. Justice 

Administra- ,. , ,, . . ' 

tion of was dispensed to all without acceptance of persons ; 
' that the poor knew where to seek and to have his 
relief without being afraid to appeal to his Majesty's catholic 
justice against the greatest subject ; ' that ' the great men ' were 
' contented with reason, because they knew not how to help 
themselves, or fill their greedy appetites, where otherwise they 
were as sharp set upon their own wills as any people in the 
world.' The Commission of defective titles was doing its 
work, and now that men could call their lands their own without 
fear of question, they were able to devote themselves to the 
improvement of their estates. The acts of the last Parliament 
were a boon to the whole people, and ' there was a general and 
steadfast belief on that side in the uprightness of 
his Majesty's justice, the people were satisfied, his 
Majesty by them honoured and blessed, in contemplation rf 
the great and princely benefits and graces they participate of, 
through his Majesty's wisdom and goodness.' 

Trade flourished no less than agriculture. Two years before 

O 2 


pirates had swarmed in the Irish seas. Now the coasts were 
guarded, and the pirates were no longer heard of. 
Commerce was rapidly on the increase. Manu- 
factures had been encouraged. The best flax seed had been 
imported from Holland. Workmen had been brought over 
from France and the Netherlands. Six or seven looms were 
already set up, and the foundation of a great industry in the 
future had been surely laid. 

Wentworth at last turned to the subject which was in the 
minds of all his hearers. It had been said that in his treatment 
Wentworth's f offenders he ' was a severe and an austere hard- 
hfs^ven- conditioned man ; rather, indeed, a Basha of Buda 
ties - than the minister of a pious and Christian king.' 

He earnestly declared that it was not so, that in private life 
no one could charge him with harshness, and that it was ' the 
necessity of his Majesty's service ' which had forced him to act 
as he had done. 

"And that," he continued, according to his own report in a 
letter to his friend Wandesford, " was the reason, indeed ; for 
where I found a Crown, a Church, and a people spoiled, I 
could not imagine to redeem them from under the pressure 
with gracious smiles and gentle looks. It would cost warmer 
water than so. True it was that where a dominion was once 
gotten and settled, it might be stayed and kept where it was by 
soft and moderate counsels; but where a sovereignty be it 
spoken with reverence was going down hill, the nature of a 
man did so easily slide into the paths of an uncontrolled 
liberty, as it would not be brought back without strength, not 
be forced up the hill again but by vigour and force. 

" And true it was, indeed, I knew no other rule to govern 
by, but by reward and punishment ; and I must profess that 
where I found a person well and entirely set for the service of 
nay master, I should lay my hand under his foot, and add to 
his respect and power all I might ; and that where I found the 
contrary, I should not dandle ' him in my arms, or soothe him 
in Jus untoward humour, but if he came in my reach, so far as 

1 'handle, ' as printed. 

-. ' . . t * t . . i f 


honour and justice would warrant me, I must knock him 
soundly over the knuckles, but no sooner he become a new 
man, apply himself as he ought to the government, but I also 
change my temper, and express myself to him, as unto that 
other, by all good offices I could do him. 

" If this be sharpness, if this be severity, I desired to be 
better instructed by his Majesty and their lordships, for in 
truth it did not so seem to me : however, if I were once told 
that his Majesty liked not to be thus served, I would readily 
conform myself, follow the bent and current of my own dis- 
position, which is to be quiet, not to have debates and disputes 
with any." 

Wentworth may have deceived himself as to his own 
character. He did not deceive himself in his expectation of 
The King's tne King's approval. " Here," he continued, " his 
approval. Majesty interrupted me and said that was no severity, 
wished me to go on in that way, for if I served him otherwise 
I should not serve him as he expected from me." 1 

Wentworth's defence is not to be passed over lightly. It 

is mere pedantry to meet it with arguments drawn from 

constitutional theories entirely inapplicable to the 

Reflections . . . . T . . . . 

on his de- case. 1 he choice for Ireland in the seventeenth 
century did not lie between absolutism and parlia- 
mentary control, but between absolutism and anarchy. If 
Wentworth be taken at his worst, it is hardly possible to 
doubt that Ireland would have been better off if his sway 
had been prolonged for twenty years longer than it was. Yet 
with every disposition to do justice to his great qualities, it is 
undeniable that not only was the system which he favoured 
peculiarly liable to abuse, but that his own arrogant and 
masterful temper was still more liable to foster the abuses 
incident to the system. Eager, with an unsparing and almost 
superhuman zeal, for the good of those who were entrusted to 
his charge, he hardly cared what road he took to reach his 
aims. Government in his hands was in the main a rule of 
beneficence. Yet not only did he treat with disdain the feel- 

1 Wentworth to Wandesford, July 25, Stratford Letters^ ii 13. 


ings of individuals and of whole populations, but he thrust 
aside as unworthy of a moment's consideration the requirement 
that he who rules should be calm and frank as well as bold. 
Threats, surprises, and intrigues were equally reckoned by him 
amongst legitimate weapons of defence. To bully a jury, to 
cajole a Parliament, to try a man upon a capital charge in order 
to drive him to resign an office, were his ordinary resources of 
government Such a man never did and never could inspire 
confidence. His actions would be regarded as having some 
hidden meaning some deep plan to be fathomed only by 
himself. Men might become richer, happier, and more pros- 
perous under him ; they were hardly likely to become better. 
The silent diffusion of a sense of moral order, the elevation of 
mind by the contemplation of a Government subjecting force 
.Wentworth's to law, were no objects at which Wentworth aimed, 
established Wentworth's position appeared to be impregnable, 
in Ireland. Once more, indeed, he had pleaded with Charles for 
an earldom, as a mark of favour to sustain him against his 
enemies, and once more he had pleaded in vain. 1 He carried 
back, however, permission to proceed with the plantation of 
Connaught. As far as Ireland was concerned, the whole 
country was at his feet. The very gentlemen of Galway who 
had stood out against him humbled themselves before him, 
and entreated his good offices with the King. 2 

It was impossible to separate Ireland from England. On 
the one hand, the strength of Wentworth's government might 
Ireland's easily become a menace to the English nation. On 
within' " tne tner hand, even that strength would be under- 
Und - mined by any weakness which might appear in 

Charles's authority in England. 

1 Wentworth to the King, Aug. 23. Laud to Wentworth, Aug. 23, 
Wentworth to Laud, Aug. 26, Str afford Letters, ii. 26, 27, 31. 

* Notes of the Committee for Irish Affairs, July 8, 1636. Galway 
Petition, Feb. 9, 1637, S. P. Ireland. 




To all outward appearance Charles's authority had never been 
stronger than in the summer of 1636. Ship-money was paid 
x6 6 with reluctance, but reluctance had not yet ripened 
Apparent into defiance. The judges, the sheriffs, and the 
Charles's justices of the peace were the ready instruments of 
position. the King The 5j s i lopS) w i tn a i arge an( j increas- 
ing number of the clergy, were his enthusiastic supporters. 
Everything was on his side, except the people of England. 

How the Protestantism of England was alienated has been 
told already. In the summer of 1636 men who cared little for 
Protestantism were beginning to fear for their pockets. The 
additional impositions agreed upon by the Treasury Commis- 
sion in the preceding summer were now levied. The 30,0007. 
which as yet flowed into the exchequer from this source were 
far from being the measure of the injury resented. In theory 
the King had assigned to himself the right of burdening com- 
merce as he pleased when he levied tonnage and poundage 
without a parliamentary grant. At last the theory had clothed 
increase of itself in a practical increase of the duties, and men 
customs. wno W ere slow to be moved by Eliot's assertion of 
the privileges and rights of Parliaments were stirred to anger 
when they found that they had to buy their wine or their silk 
at dearer rates than before. Other burdens were added at the 
Fines on de- same time. Country gentlemen were summoned 
populations. b e f ore a Commission of Depopulations, and were 
fined for pulling down cottages on their estates. The notion 


that the King was the supreme regulator of trade was finding 
Erection of expression in the erection of new corporations, which, 
corporations. at j east j n t h e O pi n i on o f the Crown lawyers, were 

exempt from the operation of the Monopoly Act, but which 
were allowed to exclude all other persons from the exercise of 
certain employments. The intention may have been good, 
but the way in which it was carried into effect did not serve to 
increase the popularity of the Government. 

In the midst of this growing feeling of dissatisfaction, the 
third writ of ship money, the second of tho. i ;e which had been 
Oct. 9 . sent out to the whole of England, was duly issued on 
Iri'of'Jhi October 9, 1636. It was no longer possible to regard 
money. ship-money as a temporary burden imposed to meet 
an emergency. It was evidently intended to remain as a per- 
manent tax upon the nation. 

The resistance to the collection of the last levy had been 
rather local than national. When the third writ was issued the de- 
ficiency of the collection under the second amounted 
inlast'co^ to 2o,544/., of which i2,ooo/., or more than half, 
was owing by the six counties of Northumberland, 
Somerset, Warwick, Oxford, Northampton, and Essex. 1 The 
resistance to the third writ was at once raised in the very 
presence of the King himself. Men of the highest rank, and 
of the most loyal and devoted character, saw clearly that nothing 
Rising op- l ess tnan tne whole future constitution of England 
position. was at stake. Just as Laud's innovations had driven 
the moderate Protestants into the arms of the Puritans, so did 
the third writ of ship-money drive the moderate constitutional- 
ists into the arms of the partisans of Parliamentary supremacy. 
Doubtless the tide of opposition was swelled by many a stream 
stained and corrupted at its source. There were men who, in 
mere gaiety of heart, were ready to plunge England into war ; 
and there were men who, without counting the cost, were ready 
to stir the fire of civil faction. There were others who hardly 
knew what they wanted or whither they were going. The 
strength of the opposition did not lie here. It was to be found 
in the fixed resolution of peer and commoner not to allow the 
1 S. P. Dom. cccxxxiii. 30. 


hereditary rights of Englishmen to be sacrificed. They had 
b^en willing that Parliaments should remain in abeyance for a 
time. They were not willing that they should be cast aside for 
ever as obstacles in the path of an arbitrary and irresponsible 

The mouthpiece of this class, so little prone to faction and, 
from the very moderation of its sentiments, so dangerous to 
December ^ enc ^' was Henry Danvers, Earl of Danby. He was 
Danby's one of those men who allow the prizes of fortune to 
slip past them. In Elizabeth's reign he had fought 
bravely in the Low Countries and at sea. As a friend and 
follower of Essex he had been placed in high office by him in 
Ireland. His elder brother, Sir Charles Danvers, was involved 
in his patron's treason, and suffered on the scaffold. He was 
himself taken into favour by James, made Lord President of 
Munster, and subsequently Governor of the Channel Islands. 
He might at one time have been ambassador in France, with 
the prospect of succeeding Falkland as Lord Deputy of Ire- 
land, but his health was broken and he shrank from the exer- 
tions of a post which taxed all the resources of Wentworth. 
He now stepped forward from his retirement to warn Charles 
of the risk which he was incurring. He told him that, as an 
old servant of the Crown, he could no longer refrain from 
representing to him the universal discontent of his subjects. 
The new levies of money were repugnant to the fundamental 
laws of England, and to those privileges which their ancestors 
and themselves had till the present time enjoyed. It was of 
the manner in which the money was raised, not of the amount, 
that they complained. He had spoken to no one who was not 
ready to shed his blood for his Majesty. He entreated him to 
reflect that the only way of giving satisfaction to his subjects 
was to summon Parliament. 

When Danby's letter was placed in the King's hands, he 
was chatting with some of his attendants. They observed that 
The King he changed colour as he read it. When he came to 
receives it. ^g en j h e wa Hf e( j U p an d down the room, showing 

his displeasure by his gestures. 1 

Correr to the Doge, Dec. ^ Ven. MSS. 


Charles, in truth, had gone too far to take Danby's well- 
meant advice. It would doubtless have been easier to come to 
terms with a Parliament in 1637 than it afterwards was to agree 
with a Parliament in 1640 ; but it would have been harder than 
it had been in 1629. The King would have to consent to some 
limitation of his authority in Church and State, to abandon the 
ecclesiastical system which he had carefully built up, and to 
admit, in some form or other, his responsibility to Parliament. 

Charles hoped to content his people with less than this. 
He fancied that the inactivity of his fleet in the last summer 
Charles was t ^ ie mam cause f discontent He now gave out 
shrinks from that better things were to be expected in the coming 

summoning . . 

a Pariia- season. The sovereignty of the sea was to be asserted 
over the Dutch fishermen. Something was to be done 

for the Elector Palatine. An active foreign policy, in short, 

was to turn men's thoughts away from domestic grievances. 
Before the end of the year Arundel was again in England. 

He had felt his failure at Vienna almost as a personal insult 
Hitherto he had been an advocate of peace and of 

Dec. 30. 

Arundei's an alliance with the House of Austria, He came 
back a changed man : bitterly denouncing the per- 
fidy of Spain, and persistently arguing in favour of a French 
alliance, even if it should lead to open war. l 

Joyfully did the lords of the Opposition welcome their new 
ally. Charles was hourly besieged with cries for war 

Charles J . _. .. TT i j j r i 

urged to go and a Parliament. He had no mind for either. He 
turned sharply upon Warwick, in whose county of 
Essex the collection of ship-money was as backward as might 
Resistance nave been expected in a district still under the lash 
money "in * tne Forest Court. 2 In many places the money 
Essex. could only be obtained by the distraint and sale of 
rattle ; and in one instance a horse which had been sold had 
been carried off by force from its purchaser by its original 

1 Correr to the Doge, Dec. , yen. MSS. 

* Mildmay to the Council, Dec. II, 16, 5. P. Dom. cccxxxvii. 27, 
41. On Jan. 20, I,9OO/. were still unpaid in Essex on the second writ. 
Ibiit. cccxliv. 50. 


owner. Charles blamed Warwick as a supporter of this in* 

l637 . subordination of his tenants. Warwick's reply was 

January. couc hed in terms far plainer than Uanby's letter had 


called to been. His tenants, he said, were old men, and had 
been accustomed to the mild government of Queen 
Elizabeth and King James. They could not bring themselves 
to consent, at the end of their lives, to so notable a prejudice 
to the liberties of the kingdom ; nor were they willing volun- 
tarily to deprive their posterity of those benefits which they had 
themselves inherited from their ancestors as a sacred deposit, 
though they were ready, one and all, to sacrifice life and goods 
for his Majesty. If only the King would join France in a war 
for the Palatinate, and would maintain his own sovereignty 
over the sea, Parliament would gladly furnish all the supplies 
he needed. 

Such language had not reached the ears of Charles since 
Eliot died in the Tower. Warwick, as Charles, well knew, did 
A protest not stand alone. The lords who sympathised with 
proposed. hj s bold declaration were actually drawing up a 
protest echoing the words which he had spoken. If this 
protest ever really came into existence, in all probability it 
never reached Charles's eye. He allowed it to be plainly 
understood that he would have nothing to do with a Parlia- 
ment. To call Parliament was equivalent to an abandonment 
of the ecclesiastical ceremonies, and for that he was not 
prepared. l 

For anything short of that, however, Charles was now 
prepared. Arundel's vigorous language weighed upon his 
Charles pre- mm d. ^ n va i n Onate protested against the slur cast 
pares to by the ambassador upon his master's good faith. 

assist his ' 

nephew. Charles assured his nephews that he was disgusted 
with the treatment which he had received from the House of 
Austria, and was determined to do himself right. 2 He was 

1 Correr to the Doge, Jan. -, Ven. MSS. The protest printed in 

Rushiuorth, ii. 359, may perhaps have been that which eventually wai 
drawn up, but it does not quite agree with Correr's account. 

2 Correr to the Doge, Jan. I3 , Ven. MSS. 


specially angry at the news that the King of Hungary had been 
chosen King of the Romans, and that Maximilian of Bavaria 
had been allowed to give an electoral vote. A meeting of the 
Foreign Affairs Committee decided that some of the King's 
ships should be lent to the young Elector, to put to sea under 
the flag of the Palatine House. The Danes and the 

Jan. 16. 

Ships to be Swedes were to be invited to co-operate actively in 
lent to him. so g O(X j a cause. 1 All this Charles fancied he could 
Jan. 22. (jQ without giving offence to anyone. When the 
resolution of the Committee was referred to the full Council, 
he asked the opinion of the members how the business could 
be best effected without the least danger of breaking with Spain. 
Feb. i. After much discussion, it was resolved that the ships 
should be lent. Merchant vessels lying in the Thames were to 
be pressed to make up the number. The news of the King's 
concession was received with enthusiastic applause at Court. 
Noblemen came forward to offer voluntary contributions to 
lighten the expense. Lord Craven declared himself ready to give 
as much as 3o,ooo/. It is not likely that those who thus freely 
opened their purses expected very happy results from such an 
enterprise ; but, though they knew well that the Palatinate was 
not to be recovered by the capture of a few Spanish cruisers, 
they believed that the conflict, once begun, would not be 
limited to the sea. When once he was engaged even indirectly 
Charles would find it impossible to draw back. Onate had told 
him that he would not be allowed to make war under his 
nephew's cloak, and everyone but Charles himself was of 
opinion that Onate was in the right. 

So, too, thought the trench Government. Richelieu could 
not comprehend how Charles could mean anything 

Kresh over- l ' 

tures from but war with Spain, ihe very day on which the 

decision was taken in the Council, a courier arrived 

with fresh overtures from France. 2 Richelieu no longer 

1 Beveren to the States-General, Jan. 6 . BoswelPs proposal at the 
Hague, Feb. *, Add. MSS. 17,677 P. fol. 148, 161. 

2 Correr to the Doge, Feb. 3._i y en j^fss. Beveren to the State* 

13, 20 

Genera!, ^ V Feb. 2, Add. MSS. 17,677 O, fol. 166, 163. 


demanded the immediate conclusion of a league offensive and 
defensive. It would be enough for the present if Charles would 
agree to an auxiliary treaty, as it was called, by which he was 
to engage to give no help either directly or indirectly to Spain, 
the Emperor, or Bavaria, to allow the levy of 6,oco volun- 
teers for the service of Louis, and to put to sea at least thirty 
armed vessels to guard the coasts of France and England and 
hinder the transport of money and munitions to Flanders. 
On the other hand, Louis was to make no peace without 
Charles's consent, or even to treat for it without assurance oi 
the restitution of the Palatinate, Maximilian being, however, 
allowed to retain the Electoral title for his lifetime. A con- 
ference was to be opened at Hamburg or che Hague, at which 
the allies of France were to meet to draw up conditions em- 
bodying these demands. If the Emperor refused to grant 
them, England would then join France in an offensive and 
defensive alliance. Besides all this, the Elector was at once to 
be sent to sea at the head of twelve or fifteen ships. 

Even the league offensive and defensive, distant as it was, 
was explained away so as to suit Charles's taste. It was to bind 
him to nothing more than a maritime war. He was to stop the 
passage of ships between Spain and the Indies and between 
Spain and Flanders. Places taken by the French in the Low 
Countries were to be deposited in the hands of the Elector 
Palatine, as a pledge for the ultimate restitution of his 

Charles could hardly avoid taking into consideration a pro- 
posal so studiously moderate ; but he resolved to make sure 
Charles de- ol ^ s P os it' on at home before he entered into any 
terminesto engagement abroad. His right to levy ship-money 

consult the . . 

j.-dges about was now denied, not by isolated persons, nor even 

siiip-money. . , j /. L L L i j 

by isolated groups of persons, but by the leaders 
of the nobility, by councillors of state, by men of weight and 
influence in the country. At least the substance of the pro- 
testation drawn up can hardly have failed to come to his 
knowledge, and he must have heard that an intention 
existed of bringing the question to an issue in the Courts of 
Westminster in such a manner that it would be impossible to 


dispose of the complaint as summarily as Chambers had been 
dismissed by Berkeley a few months before. 

Once more therefore Charles proceeded to state his case 
to the judges. " Taking into our princely consideration," he 
wrote, "that the honour and safety of this our 
The King's realm of England, the preservation of which is only 
lctter ' entrusted to our care, was and is now more nearly 

concerned than in late former times, as well by divers counsels 
and attempts to take from us the dominion of the seas, of 
which we are sole lord and rightful owner and proprietor, and 
the loss whereof would be of greatest danger and peril to this 
kingdom and other our dominions, as many other ways ; We, 
for the avoiding of these and the like dangers, well weighing 
with ourselves that where the good and safety of the kingdom 
in general is concerned, and the whole kingdom in danger, 
there the charge and defence ought to be borne by all the 
realm in general, did for preventing so public a mischief 
resolve with ourselves to have a Royal navy provided that 
might be of force and power, with Almighty God's blessing 
and assistance, to protect and defend this our realm and our 
subjects therein from all such perils and dangers ; and for that 
purpose we issued forth writs, commanding thereby all our said 
subjects to provide such a number of ships well furnished as 
might serve for this our royal purpose, and which might be 
done with the greatest equality that could be. In performance 
whereof, though generally throughout all the counties of this 
our realm we have found in our subjects great cheerfulness and 
alacritv, which we graciously interpret as a testimony as well 
of their dutiful affections to us and to our service as of the 
respect they have to the public, which well becometh every 
good subject : 

" Nevertheless, finding that some few, haply out of ignor- 
ance what the laws and customs of this our realm are, or out 
of a desire to be eased and freed in their particulars, how 
general soever the charge ought to be, have not yet paid and 
contributed the several rates and assessments that were set 
upon them ; and foreseeing, in our princely wisdom, that from 
hence divers suits and actions are not unlikely to be com- 


menced and prosecuted in our several courts at Westminster ; 
We, desirous to avoid such inconveniences, and out of our 
princely love and affection to all our people, being willing to 
prevent such errors as any of our loving subjects may happen 
to run into, have thought fit in a case of this nature to advise 
with you our judges, who we doubt not are all well studied 
and informed in the rights of our sovereignty ; and because the 
trials in our several courts by the formality of pleadings will 
require a long protraction, we have thought expedient by this 
our letter, directed to you all, to require your judgments in the 
case as it is set down in the enclosed paper, which will not 
only gain time, but also be of more authority to overrule any 
prejudicate opinions of others in the point." 

Such a letter speaks for itself. Objectionable as was the 
practice of consulting the judges as legal advisers of the 
Nature of Crown, it was sanctioned by too long a course 
this letter. Q f precedents to make it likely that it would be 
lightly abandoned. Hitherto, however, whenever the Crown 
had asked the opinion of the judges, it had asked that opinion 
at least ostensibly to enable it to shape its course according to 
the law. Charles now openly asked them to promulgate that 
opinion which he had received from them a year before, not 
to enlighten himself, but to hinder his subjects from arguing 
the disputed question in Westminster Hall. No doubt, 
as Finch, who was again entrusted with the work of persua- 
sion, afterwards declared, they all knew that their opinion 
could have no binding force till it had been argued be- 
fore them by counsel ; but neither can there be any doubt 
that the King wished it to be accepted by his subjects as 

The case laid before the judges was as follows : " When 
the good and safety of the kingdom in general is concerned, 
The King's and the whole kingdom is in danger ; Whether 
may not the King by writ under the Great Seal 
command all the subjects of this kingdom, at their charge, to 
provide and furnish such number of ships with men, victuals, 
and munition, and for such time as he shall think fit, for the 
defence and safeguard of the kingdom from such danger and 


peril, and by law compel the doing thereof in case of refusal 
or refractoriness ? 

" And whether in such case is not the King the sole judge, 
both of the danger, and when and how the same is to be pre- 
vented and avoided ? " 

Alter five days' deliberation, all the twelve judges returned 
an answer in the affirmative to both these questions. Croke and 
Feb Hutton had only signed because they were informed 
Answer of that it was the practice that the minority should be 
.he judges. ^ound by tne O pj n j on o f the majority, and Bramston, 
if we may trust the tradition of his family, would have pre- 
ferred to insert words limiting the obligation of furnishing 
ships to the time of necessity only. But the objection was 
overruled, and a week afterwards the opinion was read publicly 
Feb. i 4 . in the Star Chamber by the Lord Keeper as ' the 
Theiranswer uniform resolution of all the judges' opinions with 


read. one voice.' Orders were given that it should be 

entered in the Star Chamber, in Chancery, in the King's 
Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, and that it should be 
published by the judges at the assizes. Coventry, indeed, 
added that it was not the King's intention to prohibit his 
subjects from bringing actions if they chose to do so, but he 
plainly hinted his belief that any lawyer would be very foolish 
who took up so desperate a cause in defiance of the fathers of 
the law. 1 

The judges had been fairly launched upon the tide of 
political conflict. The question which they had been asked to 
Portion of decide was not one to be settled by mere reference 
the judges. to statute and precedent The sovereignty of Eng- 
land was involved in it ; and it was hardly to be expected that 
more than a small minority of the judges, dependent as their 
seats were upon the good pleasure of the Crown, would be 
quick-sighted to detect the weakness in Charles's case. 

Out of the atmosphere of Westminster Hall, however, the 
solution arrived at by the judges seemed strange indeed. To 

1 The King to the Judges, Feb. 2. Answer of the Judges, Feb. 7, 
S. P. Dom. cccxlvi. n, 14 Autobiography of Sir J. Bramstom, 68. 
Rush-worth, ii. 352. 


men with their eyes open it was perfectly clear that Charles's 
claim had nothing in common with the demands which the 
Plantagenet kings had put forward in their hours of peril. 
Even if it had been conceded, as we at least may fairly concede, 
that the King had judged rightly that the growth of the mari- 
time forces of France and the Netherlands constituted a perma- 
nent danger to England, which needed to be met by a permanent 
defence, the men of that day might fairly argue that it was all 
the more necessary that Charles should take the nation into 
his counsel. Their common sense told them that it was no 
question whether the King or the Parliament was the best 
judge of danger. It was a question whether Parliaments 
should cease to exist in England. l The desire to go back to 
the old state of things seized upon the minds of Englishmen. 
Unhappily, under Charles's mismanagement, the old days, 
when Crown and Parliament could work harmoniously together, 
had passed away, at least for a time. 

It could not be long before the bitter feeling thus aroused 

would make itself plainly felt. For the present, however, the 

opinion of the judges had its weight. Rapidly and surely the 

collection of ship-money proceeded. 2 On February 18 the 

whole sum gathered in upon the new writ was 

54,ooo/., on March 4 it was 68,5oo/., and the amount 

had risen to 89,ooo/. by the end of the month. 3 

1 The language, incorrect as it is, in which the Venetian Ambassador 
described the opinion of the judges is significant of the sense in which it 
was taken by his informants. They declared, he says ' che il Re per 
difesa del regno et per altri simili gravi urgenze, per il bene del medesimo 
habbia libera faccolta d'imponer taglie et aggravie a sudditi a voglia sua, 
senza haverne mai a render conto al Parlamento del bisogno che in qual- 
sivoglia tempo possa astringerlo a tal deliberatione, dovendo esser giudice 
lui solo et la sua sola conscienza, non obligate a render conto ne dei pro- 
prii dissegni ne degl' interessi dello stato, a chi si sia de : suoi vassalli.' 
The consequence, he goes on to say, will be 'a sradicare in un colpo per 
sempre la radunanza de Parlamento et a render il Re in tutto e per tutto 
independente e sovrano.' Correr to the Doge, Feb. , Vcn. MSS. 

* Correr to the Doge, March ^-, Yen. MSS. 


Accounts of Ship-money, Feb. 18, March 4, 31, S. P. Dotn. cccxlvii 
43, cccxlix. 31, cccli. 56. 



On February 17, three days after the Lord Keeper's 

announcement of the opinion of the judges, the treaty proposed, 

, by France, corrected in some minor particulars, was 

The treaty finally accepted by the King. 1 On the 2oth it was 

ccepte . sent back to France. No one at the English Court 

i-K Fe ^'- 2 '' entertained a doubt that the French alliance was se- 

i he King 

certain that cure. Full powers were sent to Leicester to conclude 
alliance is everything by March. The moment the news should 
reach England that the treaty had been signed pre- 
parations were to be made for sending the Elector to sea. He 
was to sail on April 15 with fifteen ships of war, carrying an 
Admiral's commission from the King of France. Money was 
expected to pour in from the rich lords and commoners who 
were anxious to support the enterprise. 2 

Never to the inexperienced- had Charles's affairs appeared 
in a more prosperous condition. Opposition at home seemed to 
have been silenced by the declaration of the judges. Abroad 
the King seemed to be on the eve of obtaining that which 
he had long sought in vain the pledge of a great power to 
obtain for him the Palatinate, the sole object of his aim upon 
the Continent, in return for a merely maritime assistance. 
All this, too, was to be his without any necessity of recurring 
to Parliament. 

Those who applauded Charles's resolution knew well that 
he was embarking on a course entailing larger responsibilities 
than he imagined, and that a war once begun indirectly could 
not be circumscribed at his bidding. If their hearts were a 
little in the Palatinate, they were much more in England. On 
the despatches which went forth to Leicester they saw written 
in invisible characters the supremacy of Parliament, the re- 
organisation of the Church, and the humiliation of Laud. 

Laud himself was distracted between hope and fear ; but it 
was hope that predominated. Like his master, he believed in 
the possibility of limiting the war. " God speed what must go 

1 Treaties, Feb. 14, S. P. France. 

2 Beveren to the States-General, ~, Add. MSS. 17,677 P, foL 


on," he wrote to Wentworth. " But, God be thanked, in all this 
Feb. H troublesome business God hath exceedingly blessed 
ifThe 5 view his Majesty. For this term, the judges have all de- 
position, clared under their hands, unanimously, that if the 
kingdom be in danger, the King may call for, and ought to 
have, supply for ship-money through the kingdom, and that 
the King is sole judge when the kingdom is in this danger. 
So that now the King if he be put to it may anger his 
enemies at sea, and I hope no man shall persuade him to 
undertake land-forces out of the kingdom. I did fear every- 
thing till this point was gained. Now, by God's blessing, all 
may go well, though it should be war." l 

There was one man amongst Charles's subjects who at the 

same time foresaw his danger and desired to avert it. That 

Feb. 28. man was Wentworth, and to him Charles applied for 

The King advice. It was the first time, as far as we know, 

applies to 

Wentworth. that the Lord Deputy's opinion had ever been asked 
on the larger issues of policy. Wentworth knew too well the 
arduous nature of the difficulties which had still to be over- 
come at home before Charles could hope to gather round him 
a submissive Parliament, to look with anything but the deepest 
distrust upon the merest shadow of warlike action. To the 
fortunes of the Palatinate he was utterly indifferent. A rich 
and prosperous England under his master's sceptre was the 
ideal for which he strove, and all other considerations were 
but as dust in the balance. 

" I must confess," he wrote in reply, " the services and 
interests of your Majesty are laid so near and close to my 
heart as it affects me very much to hear the peace and pros- 
March i P er ity f y ur a ff a i rs at home disquieted by entering 
Wentwonh's again into action upon any foreign hopes or en- 
Kmg'not e gagements abroad, until the Crown were discharged 

prepared for of debts> the coflfers fi ], ed) an( j youf Ma j esty > s profit s 

and sovereignties set upon their right foot throughout 
your three kingdoms. And in truth, this foundation well and 
surely laid, what, under the goodness of Almighty God, could be 

1 Laud to Wentworth, Feb. n, Works, vii. 315, 

t 2 


able to shake this monarchy or stay the wheel of your Majesty's 
triumph ? " 

It was ' an acknowledged truth,' he proceeded to say, ' that 
kings and common parents ought, next to themselves, princi- 
TO look at pally to intend the weal and security of their people 
home first. f or w h om they are . . . answerable to the world in 
point of honour and to Almighty God in case of conscience.' 
The proposed war would certainly bring with it a great charge, 
and would interrupt that stream of commerce of which England 
as a neutral State was reaping the benefits. It might fairly be 
asked whether the King was bound in justice and honour to 
restore his nephew at all. The misfortunes of that family had 
not been due to any advice given to it from England. Even 
if any such duty existed, it was doubtful whether France were 
either able or willing to give effectual help. It was also to be 
doubted whether the mere assistance of an English fleet would 
be sufficient to induce France to fulfil all the promises she 
might make ; and even if this were taken for granted, it must 
be remembered that a fleet sent to sea was subject to casualties, 
and that it was useless to send it out without being ready to 
reinforce it, or even to provide a second fleet if the first were 

Here, then, came the practical question which Charles had 
so unaccountably overlooked. If the fleet needed reinforce- 
ment, what was to be done? Were the subjects 
flee* to be to be asked to pay two levies of ship-money in the 
reinforced. same vear p jf no ^ ^^ remained but to summon 

Parliament ? 

Further, it is clear that Wentworth wished the King to have 
the acknowledged .right of levying money to support an army, 
An army as we ^ as nioney to support a navy. Thus only would 
necessary, he b e able to defend England by keeping his ad- 
versaries employed abroad. " It is plain indeed," he continued, 
" that the opinion delivered by the judges, declaring the lawful- 
ness of the assignment for the shipping, is the greatest service 
that profession hath done the Crown in my time. But, unless 
his Majesty hath the like power declared to raise a land army 
upon the same exigent of State, the Crown seems to me to stand 


but upon one leg at home, to be considerable but by halves to 
foreign princes abroad. Yet even this, methinks, convinces a 
power for the sovereign to raise payments for land forces, and 
consequently submits to his wisdom and ordinance the trans- 
porting of the money or men into foreign states, so to carry by 
way of prevention the fire from ourselves into the dwellings of 
our enemies an act which it seems Edward III. and Henry V. 
full well understood and if by degrees Scotland and Ireland 
be drawn to contribute their proportions to these levies for the 
public, omne tulit punctum. 

" Seeing then that this piece well fortified, for ever vindi- 
cates the Royalty at home from under the conditions and 
restraints of subjects, renders us also abroad even to the 
greatest kings the most considerable monarchy in Christendom ; 
seeing again, this is a business to be attempted and won from 
the subject in time of peace only, and the people first accus- 
tomed to those levies, when they may be called upon, as by 
way of prevention for our future safety, and keep his Majesty 
thereby also moderator of the peace of Christendom, rather 
than upon the bleeding evil of an instant and active war ; I 
beseech you what piety of alliances is there that should divert 
a great and wise king forth of a path which leads so manifestly, 
so directly, to the establishing his own throne and the secure 
and independent seating of himself and posterity in wealth, 
strength, and glory, far above any their progenitors, verily in 
such a condition as there were no more hereafter to be wished 
them in this world but that they would be very exact in their 
care for the just and moderate government of their people, 
which might minister back to them again the plenties and 
comforts of life ; that they would be most searching and severe 
in punishing the oppressions and wrongs of their subjects, as 
well in the case of the public magistrate as of private persons, 
and lastly to be utterly resolved to exercise this power only for 
public and necessary uses ; to spare them as much and often 
as were possible, and that they never be wantonly vitiated or 
misapplied to any private pleasure or person whatsoever. This 
being indeed the very only means to preserve, as may be said, 
the chastity of these levies, and to recommend their beauty so 


far forth to the subject, as being thus disposed, it is to be justly 
hoped they will never grudge the parting with their monies." 1 

It is unnecessary to follow Wentworth into the details of 
his recommendations. Never was any State paper written in 
which the object and the means by which it was to 
recommen- 6 be gained stand more clearly before the reader. It 
needs no interpreter to explain its meaning. It is 
the old, old story of a beneficent despotism, of the monarch 
who is to cast all personal affections, all dynastic entanglements 
aside in order that he may establish a power which he may use 
for his people's good. It was no new thought which had won 
its way into Wentworth's mind. Once he had looked for his 
ideal of government to the authority of the Crown exercised in 
such a way as to deserve the approbation of the House of 
Commons, In his hatred of the anarchy and disorder which 
was proceeding from an incapable minister, he had leaned more 
upon the voice of the House of Commons than under other 
circumstances he would have been inclined to do. Then had 
come a rude awakening. The House of Commons put forth 
its hand to grasp the sovereignty of the State, and became in 
its turn, as it might well seem to him, the fountain of anarchy 
and disorder. He chose his side. He stood for the King, to 
bring order out of disorder, discipline out of anarchy. Still 
there was to be answering acceptance by the governed, no longer 
indeed from the old political classes, but from ' the new social 
strata' beneath them, speaking their inarticulate thanks not 
in parliamentary oratory, but in heartfelt prayers by humble 
cottage hearths. Every year that he had passed in Ireland had 
branded this ideal of government more deeply on his mind. 
It could not be that the medicine which had cured, or seemed 
to cure, so many ills on one side of St. George's Channel, should 
fail of its efficacy on the other. 

There have been nations in such a stage of political de- 
velopment that Wentworth's advice would have been, if not 
the highest policy, at least the highest possible policy. It is 
not likely that, with his feeling of dislike towards France, there 

1 Wentworth to the King, March 31, inclosing Considerations, &c., 
Letters t ii. 59. 


was in Wentworth any conscious imitation of Richelieu ; but 
there may well have been an unconscious tendency 

Comparison . J 

between to aim by the same means at the ends at which 

Wentworth -,.,.. . T^ i j 11 u j 

and Riche- Richelieu was aiming. England may well be proud 
of possessing in Wentworth a nobler, if a less prac- 
tical statesman than Richelieu, of the type to which, the 
great Cardinal belonged. He was more solicitous for the in- 
ternal welfare of his country than Richelieu was, less solicitous 
for its external greatness. The prosperity of the poor, of the 
weak, of all who had none to help them, held a larger place 
in his imagination. On the other hand, as far as the foreign 
relations of the country were concerned, he stands on a lower 
level than Richelieu. Anticipating the policy of the reign of 
Charles II. and of the eighteenth century, he thought of making 
England materially prosperous, without care for the moral and 
spiritual interests of Europe as a whole. His foreign policy, 
like that of Chatham, was distinctly English ; whilst that of 
Richelieu aimed at serving France by entering into combina- 
tion with the interests of the most developed of European states. 
Whatever may be thought of Wentworth's policy, Eng- 
land may be proud to remember that she needed not the 
terrible surgery to which he would have subjected her. In 
France, to vindicate the throne ' from under the conditions 
and restraints of subjects ' was to cast off the tyranny of a self- 
seeking nobility entirely devoid of public spirit and aiming 
solely at enriching themselves at the public expense. It would 
be to close our eyes to the history of the parliaments of the 
early part of the eighteenth century to assert that no danger ol 
the kind awaited England ; but the danger was as nothing to 
the danger which awaited England from Wentworth's success. 
If the great dramatist who had told forth the historical concep- 
tions of the Elizabethan age had held up to admiration, in 
Henry V., a king who could live free from the conditions and 
restraints of subjects, he had acknowledged that the imposi- 
tion of those conditions and restraints upon Richard II. was 
the last sad necessity of evil rule. He could recount the scenes 
of the life of John without according even a passing glance to 
the barons of Runnimede. Though he felt no attraction to the 


great Earl Simon, or the greater Edward I., and though, in 
telling of the Parliament which called Richard II. to account, 
he dwelt upon its janglings and its injustice, he could yet 
acknowledge its action to be a necessity. Yet though to the 
student of Shakspere there is nothing startling in Wentworth's 
reliance on the nobleness of kingship rather than on the popular 
will, it was none the less a mighty revolution which Wentworth 
was imagining. That which for Shakspere was the result of the 
combined force of ability and character in the ruler, was placed 
by Wentworth above those conditions. The armed soldiers 
and the armed fleet which he was anxious to gather for the 
defence of the throne would fight for a bad governor as well as 
for a good one ; would arm the King against treason and con- 
spiracy, but would also arm him against the natural conse- 
quences of his own errors and crimes. Shakspere had seen 
what Wentworth could not see, that it was better that a govern- 
ment should be levelled in the dust than that it should cease 
to be answerable for its faults. From the midst of the glories 
of the Elizabethan age he had proclaimed that principle of the 
responsibility of the Government by which the English people 
had been truly great, that principle which is deeply rooted in 
the highest needs of the human race itself. To this principle 
Wentworth had become a traitor an honourable, high-minded 
traitor it may be but a traitor still. If Charles had been far 
greater and nobler than he was, if his will had been the true 
measure of justice for his generation, nothing short of the as- 
surance of the utter incapacity of the political classes of England 
for taking part in government at all could have justified Went- 
worth in choosing to rest the powers of government upon the 
unchecked will of the sovereign. 

Clear perception of all the conditions of action was there- 
fore wanting to Wentworth. He could see nothing in Puritan- 
ism but the dry unimaginative contentiousness of a Prynne ; 
nothing in the political opposition but the greedy brainless 
agitation of a Holland. Above all, he could not see how 
utterly unsuitable Charles was to become the corner-stone of 
the policy which he contemplated. With what ears would 
Charles hear that Wentworth had recommended him to post- 


pone, if not entirely to sacrifice, those claims of his sister and 
her family which had been so near to his heart ever since he 
came to the throne ? With what ears would he hear that 
Wentworth, in his long exposition of the objects to be aimed at 
by means of ship-money, had absolutely forgotten, till twenty days 
after his letter was written, even to mention that scheme for 
obtaining from the Dutch the payment for the fishing licences 
which he himself looked to as an acknowledgment of his 
claim to the sovereignty of the seas ? ! Wentworth's political 
aims would have been equally worthy of condemnation, and 
would have been far more dangerous, if a ruler with a spirit as 
lofty as his own had been upon the throne of England. As it 
was he might as well have been engaged in spinning ropes out 
of the sand of the sea as in building up a potent and absolute 
monarchy of which the sceptre was to be held in the hands of 
Charles. It needed not Wentworth's voice to rebuke Charles's 
fluctuation between peace and war. Already that 

J he rrench * * 

treaties re- policy was crumbling away by its own inherent rot- 

ferred to ' ,11 , , -r- 

future con- tenness. No sooner had the treaty reached France 
than the French began to raise objections to the 
alterations which Charles had made in it. In vain Charles 
urged haste, that his nephew's fleet might put to sea. He was told 
that, though Louis was himself ready to accept the treaty, he 
could not ratify it till it had been referred to the consideration 
of the allies who were shortly to meet in conference at Hamburg. 
Another summer would thus be lost, an object which it is 
probable enough that the French, despairing of any real aid 
from Charles, had in view from the very commencement of the 
negotiations. 2 

In vain Charles, being disappointed of help from France, 
had attempted to fall back upon Spain, and had sent Windebank 
to propose to Onate one more secret treaty for the Palatinate. 
Onate replied by asking what Charles intended to do against 
France and the Dutch. Then came a renewal of the old dis- 
pute, whether Spain was to begin the friendship by restoring 

1 Wentworth to the King, April 19, Strafford Letters, ii. 64. 
7 Leicester to Coke, March 29 ; Coke to Leicester, May 6 ; Leicester 
to Coke, June 6, 12, 5. P. France. 


the Palatinate, or England by making war against the Dutch. 
Onate kept up the discussion, but he wrote home that it was 
of no importance whatever. Charles, he said, as had been so 
often said before, was too weak to make war unless he would 
consent to summon Parliament and to accept it as his master 
" a thing which both he and his ministers were afraid of. The 
Spanish Government, like the French, saw clearly that all that 
was to be done with Charles was to keep him amused. Riche- 
lieu and Olivares were well aware that, however much he might 
talk, he would never act. 1 

Charles's dealings with the Dutch were of a piece with his 

dealings with France and Spain. Early in the year, Winde- 

bank had been instructed to write to Boswell at the 


windebank's Hague, suggesting the probability that, if instead of 
?he l Duteh negotiating with the State authorities, he should enter 
fishermen. mtQ commun ication with the fishermen themselves, 
they would all of them cheerfully and unanimously accept his 
Majesty's gracious offer of licences, and most willingly come 
under his protection. Boswell was to reinforce this reason- 
ing by a judicious use of money, in gratuities and rewards 
to those that were ' most powerful and likely to make the 
greatest opposition among them.' 2 Boswell reported that 
the fishermen were not averse to the proposal, but that they 
wished to know how the King of England's licences were to 
protect them against the cruisers of the Cardinal Infant. If 
the Government at Brussels would acknowledge their sufficiency, 
the offer would be worth thinking of. The next best thing 
would be to induce the Cardinal Infant to support the King's 
licences with passports of his own, if it were only for the pre- 
sent season. It was unreasonable to ask them to depend 
merely on the protection of the English fleet. If Boswell 
would settle the matter for them, they would gladly place 

1 Message by Windebank to Onate, April 3 ; Philip IV. to Onate, 
jV pnl 3 , May - ; Onate's answer to Winclebank, May j 3 -. Answer of the 

King, ^ ay - 2 - 3 ; Onate to Philip IV., ^7. MayJ sinumcas MSS. 2521, 
& June 2 June 6, June 7 


* Windebank to Boswell, Jan. (?), 5. P Holland. 


j,ooo/. at his disposal. 1 After some further haggling, the sum 
was raised to 2,ooo/. With Charles's full approval the money 
was forwarded to Gerbier at Brussels, to use as he thought best 
in gaining over the Spanish authorities. 

Gerbier was an adept at such intrigues. He bribed the 
mistress of the Cardinal Infant. He made pressing instances 
A rfl with the brother of the leading minister, President 
Negotiations De Roose. He was successful even beyond his 
expectations. The Cardinal Infant was won to 
promise the passports which Gerbier had been instructed to 
demand. Then in the moment of triumph the cup was dashed 
from, his lips. The old Marquis of Fuentes, who was the King 
of Spain's admiral in those seas, protested that he would pay 
no attention to any passports which did not come direct from 
Madrid. If the Cardinal Infant were to go down on his knees 
to him on behalf of the Dutch fishermen, he would not spare 
a single herring-boat. He repudiated the authority of the 
Brussels Government to send him such orders on such a 
subject. 2 

If this easy and pre-arranged triumph was not to be gained, 
it was hard to say what was to be done with the great ship- 
money fleet of which Northumberland once more 

Northum- ' 

beriands took the command. Charles could not possibly 
know for some months to come whether he was to 
be at war or not, and there were no signs that either a French 
or a Spanish navy was inclined to test his pretensions in the 
Channel. It was not till the beginning of June that Northum- 
berland joined the fleet. After convoying the Elector Palatine 
and Prince Rupert to Holland, he sailed down the Channel, to 
meet with nothing but a few poor fishermen between Dover and 
the Land's End. He himself felt bitterly the contrast between 
promise and performance. "No man," he wrote, "was ever 

1 Boswell to Windebank, Feb. 28, ^. P. Holland. 

* Windebank to Boswell, March 27 ; Boswell to Gerbier, April 24 ; 
Boswell to Windebank, May 13, May 21 ; Windebank to Boswell, 
June 1.5, .S". P. Holland. Gerbier to Windebank, April 22, 29 ; Gerbier 
to Boswe-1, May 9, S. P. Flanders. 


more desirous of a change than I am to be quit of my being in a 

condition where I see I can neither do service nor gain credit." ' 

It would be well for Northumberland if he did not actually 

lose credit by his employment. When it was known that no 

, , passports would be granted at Brussels, Northumber- 

Auempt to land was ordered to make an attempt to induce the 

filhYng";- Dutch fishermen to take the licences without them. 

He was to send a merchant ship, lest the King's flag 
should be exposed to the disgrace of a refusal, as Charles, in 
the uncertain state of his relations with the continental powers, 
was unwilling to employ force. 2 Captain Fielding was accord- 
ingly despatched to the fishing boats, to offer them the King's 
protection against the Dunkirk privateers if they would only 
consent to take the licences. 

Fielding carried out his orders. He found six or seven 
hundred boats busy with the fishery off Buchan Ness. He 

found too, that they were guarded by twenty-three 
The licences men of war of their own country. The Dutch 

admiral absolutely refused to allow him even to speak 
to a single fisherman. 3 

The story of course got abroad. Windebank at once sent 
orders to the fleet to explain it away. By the King's special 

command he directed Northumberland to give out 
be con'trZ l that Fielding had not been sent to offer licences at 

all He was to say that the purpose of his mission 
had been to give notice to the fishermen 'of the forces 
prepared by the Dunkirkers to intercept them in their return, 
and to offer them his Majesty's protection, but no licences ; ' 
the story 'of the licences being to be cried down, and the 
other to be avowed and reported through the whole fleet. 
" To which purpose," continued Windebank, " your lordship 
is to instruct Captain Fielding, whom his Majesty understands 
to have been too free in spreading the former report, and there- 
fore he is to be admonished to be more reserved hereafter in 

1 Northumberland to Roe, Aug. 6, S. P. Dom. ccclxv. 28. 

1 Windebank to Northumberland, July 3, 6, ibid, ccclxiii. ai, 41. 

1 Fie.ding to Windebank, July 24, S. P. Dom. ccclxiv. 45. 


such great services, and in the meantime to make reparation by 
divulging this, and suppressing the former." ' 

This, then, was the king who was to free the English 
monarchy from the conditions and restraints of subjects. 
Appearances Outwardly all might yet seem to be well with him. 
f success. Eight vears> to use t h e words of that patient and 
diligent investigator whose labours have done so much to 
facilitate the task of the historian, 2 " had elapsed since a Par- 
liament had been called together, and there seemed no reason 
to suppose that any person of the then present generation 
would ever hear ' that noise,' to use the language of Arch- 
bishop Laud, again. The King was in the prime of life, in 
excellent health, devoted to active exercise in the open air, 
happy in his domestic relations, attentive to business, and as 
attached to the new thorough principles of government as even 
Laud or Wentworth, or the most devoted of their adherents. 
Time and chance, of course, happen to all men, but so far as 
the King was concerned, there seemed no probability of any 
change for many years to come. The Queen's accouchement 
had added a fifth to the arrows in the royal quiver. Two sons 
and three daughters 3 set at defiance all ordinary chances in 
reference to the succession, and the likelihood seemed to be 
that long ere the father was called away, the eldest son, then in 
his seventh year, would be out of tutelage, and that, on his 
father's death, he would be fully competent to ascend the 
throne, and carry on the government according to what would 
then be regarded as the settled principles of the English 

" The new mode of government was of that kind which is 
the simplest in the world. It was the English consti- 

Nature of , , i , 

the govern- tution with that which is supposed to give it its life 
and vigour the Parliament struck out. The Coun- 
cil took its place, and, with something like a show of following 

1 Windebank to Fogg, Aug. 10 ; Windebank to Northumberland, 
Aug. 10, ibid, ccclxv. 51, 53. 

2 Bruce, Calettdar of Domestic State Papers, 1636-7. Preface,!. 

* Charles, May 29, 1630; Mary, Nov. 4, 1631 ; James, Oct. 13, 
1633 ; Elizabeth, Jan. 28, 1635 ; Anne, March 17, 1637. 


former precedents, the Council really regulated all things 
according to its own notions of right and wrong. In cases of 
importance, or cases in which the question at issue affected the 
interests of the State, the King was always ready to give their 
sittings and determinations the sanction of his presence and 
authority, and ... he was no silent member of what was then 
the only public deliberative body in matters of government On 
the contrary, he held and controlled its decisions with a lofty 
regal peremptoriness which rebuked all doubt and negatived 
the possibility of opposition. 

" There is in this respect a very great difference between 
the Charles of the first few years of his reign and the Charles 
Charles and of 1637. Under Buckingham, the favourite was 
his ministers, everything . he governed alone ; the King scarcely 
intermeddled with business, was seldom heard of in such 
matters, and still more seldom seen. ! . . . Since Buckingham's 
death, King Charles had become well versed in business, was 
informed of whatever was going on, attended meetings even of 
committees, directed their decisions, and when not present, 
was consulted in all important matters. The Government was 
thus really and truly his, not by a complimentary official 
figment, but by actual interference with its management and 

That government was now, to all appearance, at its height 
of power. The declaration of the judges seemed to have 
given Charles for ever the legal possession of resources which 
placed him above all necessity of submitting his will to 
restraint. In reality that declaration was the signal of his 
decline. It flashed in the faces of his subjects the truth 
which in their enduring loyalty they had been slow to learn 
the truth that their property, their rights and liberties had 
passed into the keeping of a single man. That man was not 
indeed uninfluenced by nobler aims. He wished his people 
to be happy and peaceful, above all to be orderly and virtuous 

1 I omit here "Laud, on the contrary, ruled the country through and 
by the King," because it implies that Laud bore sway in Civil affair.5 to a 
greater extent than he did. There were plainly other influences at work 
to which Charles succumbed as he did not in Buckingham's time. 


under his sway. But he had neither intellectual insight nor 
force of character to enable him to carry out his ideal into 
practice. Ever, with him. large designs were followed by 
paltry performances ; irritating interference with the habits and 
opinions of his subjects led to no result worthy of the effort 
His was a government not of fierce tyranny, but of petty 
annoyance. It was becoming every year not more odious, but 
more contemptible. It inspired no one with respect, and very 
few with goodwill. In 1636 the silence of the crowds which 
witnessed the King's entry into Oxford had given evidence of 
the isolation in which he stood. In 1637 the shouts of anger 
and derision in Palace Yard and in the streets of Edinburgh 
were the precursors of change, the voices which ushered in the 
coming revolution. 




IN the summer of 1637 more than eight years had passed away 
since a Parliament had met at Westminster. During those years, 

in spite of threats of war which Charles had neither 
The result of the nerve nor the means to carry out, peace had 
o'f S Char!e?s been maintained, and with the maintenance of peace 
nile - the material prosperity of the country had been largely 

on the increase. The higher aspirations of the nation remained 
unsatisfied. England had been without a Government, in the 
best sense of the word, as truly as she had been without a 
Parliament. That pacification of hostile ecclesiastical parties 
which Charles had undertaken to bring about was farther off 
than when the doors closed upon the Commons after the last 
stormy meeting in 1629. The attempt to restore harmony to 

the Church by silencing Puritan doctrine, and by 
caulfficui- the revival of obsolete ceremonies, had only served 

to embitter still more that spirit of opposition which 
was bitter enough already. The enforced observance of rites 
enjoined by external authority had not as yet produced a temper 
of acquiescence. Yet it was in the firm belief that in this way 
alone could the spiritual welfare of the nation be promoted, 
that men like Laud and Wren were labouring against the stream 
which threatened to sweep them away. "The Fountain of 

holiness," wrote Wren, who as Bishop of Norwich 

Wren s view * 

of the point found himself in charge of one of the most Puritan 

districts in England, "is the Holy Spirit, God 

blessed for ever. God the Holy Ghost breathes not but in his 

Holy Catholic Church. The Holy Church subsists not with- 


out the communion of saints no communion with tnem 
without union among ourselves that union impossible unless 
we preserve a uniformity for doctrine and a uniformity for 
discipline." l 

What Laud and Wren were unable to perceive was that 
their attempt to reach unity through uniformity was a sign of 
Unity to be weakness. They seized upon the bodies of men 
ihTou|h because they were unable to reach their hearts, 
uniformity. Yet, as far as could be judged by the avowed eccle- 
siastical literature of the day, they were everywhere triumphant. 
White and Dow, Heylyn and Shelford, poured forth 

Ecclesiasti- ,. .... ....... 

cai litera- quarto after quarto in defence of the festive character 

of the Lord's Day, or of the new position assigned 

to the communion-table. No writer who thought it sinful to 

shoot at the butts on Sunday or to kneel at the reception of 

the communion was permitted to make himself heard. Yet, as 

might have been expected, indignation found a vent. There 

were presses in Holland which would print anything 

Theun- . T , r . ., J , 

licensed sent to them ; presses too in London itself which 

did their work in secret The risk to which the 

authors of unlicensed books were exposed imparted acrimony 

1 Wren to (?), May 27, Tanner MSS. Ixviii. fol. 92. The 

following passage from the same letter shows how Wren was prepared to 
carry out his principles in detail : " Here I must be bold to say plainly 
the breach of that unity and uniformity in the Church hath principally 
been caused ... .by lectures and lecturers. . . . Now, therefore, for :he 
advancing the holy discipline of the Church, and for preseiving uniformity 
therein, I am resolved to let no man preach in any place where he is not 
also charged with the cure ; thereby to put a straiter tie upon him to ob- 
serve and justify the rites and ceremonies which the Church enjoineth ; 
and I shall be very careful, if any man be found opposite or negligent in 
the one, without any more ado to render him unfit and unworthy of the 
other. For the preserving of unity of doctrine I dare promise myself 
nothing where the preacher shall be forced to suit his business to the fancy 
of his auditors, and to say nothing but what pleases them, at leastwise 
nothing that may displease them ; and this needs he must do if his meuns 
have not some competency in it, and if a competency, then so much the 
worse if no certainty, but wholly depending on the will and pleasure of the 



to their style. Many a pamphlet, sharp and stinging, passed 
rapidly and secretly from hand to hand. Laud found himself 
the object of fierce and angry vituperation. No misstatement 
was too gross, no charge too insulting, to be believed against a 
man who refused to his adversaries all chance of speaking in 
their own defence. 

Laud knew no other course than to persist in the path 
which he had hitherto followed. The terrors of the Star 
Chamber and the High Commission must be evoked 
solves to against the misleaders of opinion. Three pam- 
phleteers William Prynne, Henry Burton, and John 
Bastwick were selected for punishment. 

Prynne's style of writing had not grown less bitter since 
his exposure in the pillory in 1634. Under the title of A 
1636. Divine Tragedy lately acted he clandestinely printed 
*Dm'* a collection of examples of God's judgments upon 
Tragedy. Sabbath-breakers. He told of the sudden deaths of 
young men who had on that day amused themselves by ringing 
a peal of bells, and of young women who had enjoyed a dance 
on the same day. He went on to argue that this wickedness 
was but the natural fruit of the King's Declaration of Sports, 
and of other books which had been published by authority. 
He attributed a fresh outbreak of the plague to the special sin 
of Sabbath-breaking. In another pamphlet, called News from 
Ipswich, he directed a violent attack upon Bishop Wren, after 
yew* from which he proceeded to charge the bishops as a body 
ipnmck. w j t } 1 suppressing preaching in order to pave the way 
for the introduction of Popery. He called upon ' pious King 
Charles ' to do justice on the whole episcopal order by which 
he had been robbed of the love of God and of his people, and 
which aimed at plucking the crown from his head, that they 
might ' set it on their own ambitious pates.' 

Burton was as outspoken as Prynne. On November 5, 
1636, he preached two sermons which he afterwards pub- 
Burton's Hshed under the title of For God and the King. In 
these he atta cked the tables turned into altars, the 
crucifixes set up, and the bowing towards the east, 
with a fierce relentlessness which was certain to tell on the 


popular mind. The inference which would be widely drawn 
was that these innovations being the work of the bishops, the 
sooner their office was abolished the better it would be for the 

The inference at which Burton arrived was the starting- 
point of Bast wick. Born in Essex, and brought up, like so 
Bastwick's many Essex men, in the straitest principles of 
early hfe. Puritanism, he had, after a short sojourn at Em- 
manuel College, the stronghold of Puritanism at Cambridge, 
left England to serve as a soldier, probably in the Dutch army. 1 
He afterwards studied medicine at Padua, and returned home 
in 1623 to practise his profession at Colchester. 
, l633 . Ten years later he published his Flagellum 

His Fiagei- Pontifids in Holland. It was an argument in favour 

lum Pontifi- J 

ds. ofPresbyterianism. He was, in consequence, brought 

jess. before the High Commission and sentenced to a 
b ^ the'tiTh 5 ^ ne ^ J* 000 ^-' to exclusion from the practice of 
commission, medicine, and to an imprisonment which was to last 
till he saw fit to retract his opinions. 2 

The Flagellum Pontifids was a staid production, unlikely to 
inflame the minds even of those who were able to read the 
The Apolo* Latin in which it was couched. Bastwick's next 
eeticvs. book was the Apologeticus, more fiery in its tone, 
but still shrouding its vehemence in Latin from the popular 
eye. 3 At last he flung off all restraint, and struck fiercely at 
his persecutors. The Litany of John Bastwick kept no quarter 
, 637 with the bishops. "From plague, pestilence, and 
The Litany, famine," he prayed, " from bishops, priests, and 
deacons, good Lord, deliver us ! " The prelates, he said, were 
the enemies of God and the King. They were the tail of the 
Beast. They had opened ' the very schools to ungodliness and 
unrighteousness, impiety and all manner of licentiousness.' The 
Church was 'as full of ceremonies as a dog is full of fleas.' 
" To speak the truth, such a multitude of trumperies and 

1 This is nowhere stated ; but his constant use of the word " groll " as 
a term of reproach indicates familiarity with the Dutch language, 

2 Sentence, Feb. 12, 1635, 5. P. Dom. cclxi. 178. 
Its first title is pc^< rvv rncdira>', 

Q a 


grollish ' ceremonies are brought in by the prelates as all the 
substance of religion is thrust out." Churchwardens were 
ordered to inform 'about capping, ducking, standing, and 
kneeling,' as well as to accuse persons wandering from their 
own parishes in search of more palatable doctrine than was 
to be found at home, and persons who met in private for 
mutual edification and prayer. In Bastwick's eyes the eccle 
siastical courts were altogether abominable. " I shall ever be 
of this opinion," he wrote, " that there is never a one of the 
prelates 1 courts but the wickedness of that alone and their 
vassals in it is able to bring a continual and perpetual plague 
upon the King's three dominions." All manner of wickedness 
was there vendible, so that if men would but open their purses 
' remission of sins and absolution, with a free immunity from 
all dangers,' would be 'with facility granted them.' "Take 
notice," he wrote in conclusion, " so far am I from flying or 
fearing, as I resolve to make war against the Beast, and every 
limb of Antichrist, all the days of my life. ... If I die in that 
battle, so much the sooner 1 shall be sent in a char'ot of 
triumph to heaven ; and when I come there, I will, with those 
that are under the altar, cry, ' How long, Lord, holy and true, 
dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood upon them that 
dwell upon the earth ? ' " 

On June 14 the three assailants of the bishops appeared 
before the Star Chamber to answer to a charge of libel. Even 
June 14. men wno were attached to the existing system of 
The Star government long remembered with bitterness the 
trials. scene which followed. When Prynne took his 

place at the bar, Finch called upon the usher of the court to 
hold back the locks with which he had done his best to cover 
the scars left by the execution of his former sentence. " I had 
thought," said the Chief Justice with a sneer, " Mr. Prynne 
had no ears, but methinks he hath ears." The executioner 
had dealt mercifully with him three years before, and there was 
still a possibility of carrying out the sentence which Finch had 
made up his mind to inflict. The three cases were practically 
undefended. Burton's answer had been signed by his counsel, 
' Dutch, 'grollig,' foolish. 


but was rejected by the court as irrelevant. The answers of 
the other two were so violent that no lawyer could be induced 
to sign them. The three accused persons said what they could, 
but in the place in which they stood nothing that they could 
say was likely to avail them. "There are some honourable 
lords in this court," said Bastwick, his old military instincts 
stirring strongly within him, "that have been forced out as 
combatants in a single duel. 1 It is between the prelates and 
us at this time as between two that have been appointed the 
field ; the one, being a coward, goes to the magistrate, and by 
virtue of his authority disarms the other of his weapons, and 
gives him a bulrush, and then challenges him to fight If this 
be not base cowardice, I know not what belongs to a soldier. 
This is the case between the prelates and us ; they take away 
our weapons our answers by virtue of your authority, by 
which we should defend ourselves ; and yet they bid us fight. 
My Lord, dolh not this savour of a base, cowardly spirit? I 
know, my Lord, there is a decree gone forth for my -sentence 
was passed long ago to cut off our ears." 

The sentence was indeed a foregone conclusion. At Cot - 
tington's motion the three accused men were condemned to 
The sen- l se tn d r ears, to be fined 5,oooZ. apiece, and to be 
tence. imprisoned for the remainder of their lives in the 

Castles of Carnarvon, Launceston, and Lancaster, where, it 
was fondly hoped, no breath of Puritan sympathy would reach 
them more. Finch savagely added a wish that Prynne should 
be branded on the cheeks with the letters S. L., as a Seditious 
Libeller, and his suggestion was unanimously adopted. 2 

The speech which Laud delivered in court was long and 
argumentative. 3 The main charge which had been brought 
Laud on his against him by the prisoners was that the cere- 
defence, monies which he had enforced were innovations on 
established usage. His answer was in effect that they were 
not innovations on the established law. On many points of 

1 The reference was to the Earl of Dorset, whose duel, when he was 
Sir E. Sackville, with Lord Bruce is well known. 

2 A brief relation, Harl. Misc. iv. 12. 

1 Laud to Wentworth, June 28, Works, vii. 355. 


detail he had far the better of the argument. The removal 
of the communion-table to the east end he treated as a 
mere matter of convenience, for the sake of decency and 
order ; and he quoted triumphantly an expression of the Cal- 
vinistic Bishop Davenant, " Tis ignorance to think that the 
standing of the holy table there relishes of Popery." His own 
practice of bowing he defended. " For my own part," he said, 
" I take myself bound to worship with body as well as soul 
whenever I come where God is worshipped ; and were this 
kingdom such as would allow no holy table standing in its 
proper place and such places some there are yet I would 
worship God when I came into His house." He flatly denied 
that he had compelled anyone to follow his example. " Yet," 
he said, " the Government is so moderate that no man is con- 
strained, no man questioned, only religiously called upon 
'Come, let us worship.'" True perhaps in the letter, this 
defence was not true in spirit. Even if those cathedrals and 
chapels, where the statutes inculcated the practice of bowing 
upon entrance, had been left out of sight, there was an almost 
irresistible influence exercised in favour of the general obser- 
vance of the custom. 

To the question of the King's jurisdiction in ecclesiastical 
matters Laud answered with equal firmness. One of the 
Oiestionof cnar g es brought against the Archbishop was that 
episcopal he was undermining the Royal authority by laying 

jurisdiction. . . . 

claim to a Divine right for his own order. On this 
point the speech was most emphatic. "Though our office," 
Laud said, " be from God and Christ immediately, yet may we 
not exercise that power, either of order or jurisdiction, but as 
God hath appointed us ; that is, not in his Majesty's or any 
Christian king's kingdoms but by and under the power of the 
King given us so to do." So pleased was Charles with the lan- 
guage of the Archbishop that he ordered the immediate pub- 
lication of his speech. He also referred to the judges the 

question whether the bishops had infringed on his 

July i. .... ... 

prerogative by issuing processes in their own names, 
and the judges unanimously decided that they had not 1 
1 ftymer, xx. 143, 156. 


Whatever the judges might say they could not meet the 
rising feeling that the power of the Crown was being placed at 
Tune o tne disposal f a sm gl e ecclesiastical party. Large 
Execution of numbers of Englishmen leapt to the conclusion 
of e the n star e that the object of that party was the restoration ot 
chamber. tne p apa i authority. The three years which had 
just gone by the years of the metropolitical visitation had 
effected a great change in the temper of the nation. In 1634, 
as far as any evidence has reached us, Prynne had suffered 
uncheered by any sign of sympathy. There was no lack of 
sympathy now. As he stepped forth, with Burton and Bast- 
wick by his side, on his way to the place where the sentence 
of the Star Chamber was to be carried out, he found the path 
strewed with herbs and flowers. Bastwick was the first to 
mount the scaffold. He was quickly followed by his wife. 
She kissed him on his ears and mouth. The crowd set up 
an admiring shout. " Farewell, my dearest," said her husband 
as she turned to descend, " be of good comfort ; I am nothing 

For two hours the three stood pilloried, conversing freely 
with the bystanders. " The first occasion of my trouble," said 
Bastwick, " was by the prelates, for writing a book against the 
Pope, and the Pope of Canterbury said I wrote against him, 
and therefore questioned me ; but if the presses were as open 
to us as formerly they have been, we should scatter his kingdom 
about his ears." Prynne characteristically employed his time 
in explaining that his sentence was not warranted by precedent. 
The real cause of his coming there, he said, was his refusal to 
acknowledge that the prelates held their office by Divine right. 
He was ready to argue the question against all comers, and, if 
he did not make his point good, to be ' hanged at the Hall 
Gate.' Once more the people shouted applaudingly. Burton 
followed, thanking God that he had enabled him thus to suffer. 
Even the rough men whose duty it was to superintend the 
execution were melted to pity, and sought to alleviate his 
suffering by placing a stone to ease the weight of the pillory on 
his neck. His wife sent him a message that 'she was more 
cheerful of that ' day than of her wedding-day.' " Sir," called 


out a woman in the crowd, "every Christian is not worthy 
of the honour which the Lord hath cast on you this day." 
" Alas ! " replied Burton, " who is worthy of the least mercy ? 
But it is His gracious favour and free gift to account us 
worthy in the behalf of Christ to suffer anything for His 
sake." 1 

At last the time arrived for sharper suffering. "After, two 
hours," wrote a collector of news, " the hangman began to cut 
off the ears of Mr. Burton, and at the cutting of each ear there 
was such a roaring as if every one of them had at the same 
instant lost an ear." Bastwick, making use of his surgical 
knowledge, instructed the executioner how ' to cut off his ears 
quickly and very close, that he might come there no more.' 
" The hangman," wrote one who recorded the scene, " burnt 
Prynne in both the cheeks, and, as I hear, because he burnt 
one cheek with a letter the wrong way, he burnt that again ; 
presently a surgeon clapped on a plaster to take out the fire. 
The hangman hewed off Prynne's ears very scurvily, which put 
him to much pain ; and after he stood long in the pillory 
before his head could be got out, but that was a chance." 2 
Amongst the crowd not all were on Prynne's side. "The 
humours of the people were various ; some wept, some laughed, 
and some were very reserved." A story got about which, 
whether it were true or false, was certain to be eagerly credited, 
that ' a Popish fellow told some of those which wept that, if 
so be they would turn Catholics, they need fear none of this 
punishment.' On his way back to prison Prynne composed a 
Latin distich, in which he interpreted the S L which he now 
bore indelibly on his cheeks as Stigmata Laudis, the Scars of 
Laud. 3 

Well might Laud come to the conclusion that his purposes 
Laud's dis- were hindered rather than furthered by such an ex- 
otisfaction. hibltion. " What say you," he wrote to Wentworth, 
" that Prynne and his fellows should be suffered to talk what 

1 Harl. Mist. iv. 19. 

2 Not ' a shame,' as printed by Mr. Bruce. 

' Roisingham's News-Letter, July 6. Doeuments relating to Frynne* 
Camd. Soc. 86. 


they pleased while they stood in the pillory?" 1 Even here 
his policy of the enforcement of silence had broken down 
The very executioners had turned against him. 

The manifestation of popular feeling round the scaffold was 

icpeated when the prisoners were led out of London to their 

July 27. far-distant dungeons. Of Bastwick's journey, indeed, 

Prynne's no account has reached us. Prynne, as he passed 

triumphal ' * r 

progress. along the Northern Road, was greeted with the 
loudest declarations of sympathy, which were at the same time 
declarations of hostility to Laud. At Barnet friendly hands 
prepared for him a dinner. At St. Alban's six or seven of the 
townsmen joined him at supper with hospitable greeting. At 
Coventry he was visited by one of the aldermen. At Chester 
he became an object of interest to the townsmen. 

July 28. J 

When Burton left London by the Western Road, 
crowds joined in shouting ' God bless you ! ' as he passed with 
his gaolers. 2 

The conditions under which the three were imprisoned were 

hard enough. The use of pen and ink was strictly prohibited. 

August. No book was allowed to enter the cells of the prisoners 

Conditions except ' the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, and 

or imprison- r 

n.ent. such other canonical books as were consonant to 

the religion professed in the Church of England.' Anxious as 
the Privy Council was for the orthodoxy of the prisoners, it was 
still more anxious that no voice of theirs should again be heard 
to lead astray the silly sheep who were unable to distinguish 
between the false shepherds and the true. Launceston and 
Carnarvon and Lancaster were far enough removed from the 
centres of population, but the keepers reported that they were 
unable to make adequate provision for the isolation of their 
charges from the outer world. Fresh orders were therefore 
issued to transfer the prisoners to still more inaccessible strong- 
holds, where their persuasive tongues might find no echo. 
Bastwick was to be immured in a fort in the Scilly Isles. Bur- 
ton was to be confined in Cornet Castle in Guernsey, Prynne in 

1 Laud to Wentworth, Aug. 28, Strafford Letters, ii. 99. 

2 Examinations of Maynard and Ingram, Sept. 22, S. P. 
ccclxviii. 14. 


Mont Orgueil in Jersey. The object of the Council was not 
that they should be separated from the world, but that the 
world should be separated from them. Burton and Bastwick 
were married men ; and strict orders were given that their 
wives should not be allowed to land in the islands in which 
the prisoners were detained, lest they should ' be evil instru- 
ments to scatter abroad their dangerous opinions and designs.' l 
The three men, victims to Laud's terror rather than to his 
hatred, were thus doomed, to all appearance, to a lifelong 

seclusion from mankind. Other voices took up their 
against tale. Libels picked up in the streets charged the 

Archbishop with being the captain of the army of the 
devil in his war against the saints. A copy of the Star Chamber 
decree was nailed to a board. Its corners were cut off as the 
ears of Laud's victims had been cut off at Westminster. A 
broad ink-mark was drawn round his own name. An inscrip- 
tion declared that " The man that puts the saints of God into 
a pillory of wood stands here in a pillory of ink." 2 

Laud could but press on to the end in the path on which 
he had entered. The silence requisite for the success of his 

scheme must be enforced still more strictly. There 
measure* must be no weak concession, no idle folding of the 
for ' hands whilst the enemy was on the alert. The policy 
of ' Thorough ' must take its course. As far as statute law was 
concerned, the English press was as free in the reign of Charles 
as it is in the reign of Victoria. It was muzzled by a decree 
of the Star Chamber, issued at the time when the throne of 

Elizabeth was assailed by bitter and unscrupulous 
b^decreT" attacks. That decree was now reinforced by another 
en the press, ^jj mQre gj^p -phe num ber of printers authorised 
to carry on their trade in London was to be reduced to twenty. 
Even books formerly licensed were not to be republished with- 
out a fresh examination. Any man not of the number of the 
privileged twenty who ventured to print a book was ' to be set 
in the pillory and whipped through the City of London.' 3 

1 Documents relating to Prynne, Camrl. Soc. 62-69. 

2 Laud to Wentworth, Aug. (?), Works, vii. 364.. 

1 Riunworth, ii. 450, App. 306. Lambe's List of Printers, July, 5". P. 
Dom. ccclxiv. in. 


The appetite for unlicensed literature was too strong to be 
thus baulked. Clandestine presses continued to pour forth 
Clandestine pamphlets, to be read by admiring and increasing 
publications. crow ds. Laud's attempt to "silence his accusers only 
added fresh zest to the banquet of libel and invective. The 
decorous tones which issued from the licensed press to bewail 
the folly and ignorance of the times convinced none who were 
not convinced already. 

Under no circumstances was this system of repression likely 

to take permanent root in England. To have given it even 

a temporary chance of success it must have been 

the catho- applied fairly on the right hand as well as on the left. 

The Catholic must suffer as well as the Puritan. 

So much Laud clearly saw. He knew full well that the 
charge brought against him of complicity with the Church of 
Rome was entirely false ; and as he could not prove his Pro- 
testantism by tenderness to the Puruans, the only way open to 
him to convince the world that he was not a secret emissary of 
the Pope was to persecute the members of the Papal Church. 
For some time, therefore, he had been pleading earnestly with 
the Council to take steps to limit the freedom of action recently 
enjoyed by the Catholics. 

One invincible stumbling-block stood in Laud's way. 
Charles's support was not to be relied on for any persistent 
Charles and course of policy. With no imaginative insight into the 
the Puritans, condition of the world around him, he did not share 
in Laud's prognostications of evil. Puritanism was not to him 
a wolf held by the ears, but simply a troublesome and factious 
spirit which needed to be kept down by sharp discipline, but 
which was not likely to be really formidable. His fear 

Charles and ... , ' .. J 

the Catho- of danger from the Catholics was even less than his 
fear of danger from the Puritans. To him they were 
merely well-disposed, gentlemanly persons with improper no- 
tions about some religious doctrines, and more especially with 
some theoretical objections to the Royal supremacy, which were 
not very likely to influence their practice. It never entered 
his head that familiarity with such pleasant companions was the 
most dangerous course which he could possibly pursue. 


The King's friendly intercourse with Panzani had been 
continued with Con, the Scotchman who succeeded him as 
Con in Ehg- Papal Agent at the Queen's Court Con dropped 
!stnd - the subject of the reunion of the churches, which 

had now served its purpose ; and if the negotiation for a modi- 
fication of the oath of allegiance was still occasionally mentioned, 
it was more for the sake of appearance than from any expecta- 
tion that it would be really possible to come to an understanding 
with the King on this subject. Charles was quite satisfied to 
find in Con a well-informed and respectful man, ready to 
discuss politics or theology without acrimony by the hour, and 
to flatter him with assurances of the loyalty of his Catholic 
subjects, without forgetting to point to the sad contrast exhi- 
hibited by the stiff-necked and contemptuous Puritan. 

Offence was taken at this unwise familiarity in quarters in 

which ordinary Puritanism met with but little sympathy. At 

A rij the festival of the Knights of the Garter the brilliant 

Con at assembly was kept waiting for the commencement 

of the service in the Royal Chapel till the King 
had finished exhibiting his pictures to the representative of 

the Pope. On another occasion, when the Court 

was assembled to witness the leave-taking of the 
French ambassador, Seneterre, the Privy Councillors occupied 
their accustomed positions at the King's right hand, Laud, in 
virtue of his archbishopric, standing next to the throne. The 
Queen was on Charles's left, and next to her was Con. " Now," 
said a lady of the Court to the Scottish priest, " there is only a 
step between the archbishop and you. Shake hands and agree 
together.'' "Our Lord," answered Con significantly, "stands 
with his arms open to receive all men into the bosom of the 
Holy Church." 1 

Panzani had striven in vain to win Charles to more than 

well-bred friendliness. Con turned his attention to 
anoNhe**' the Queen. It had never hitherto been possible to 
Catholics. rouse her to more than spasmodic efforts even on 
behalf of the Catholics. Averse to sustained exertion, and inter- 

1 Con to Barberini, 3^", July \ , Add. MSB. 15,390, toi. 246, 346. 


vening only from some personal interest or momentary pique, 
she had contented herself with the consciousness that the per- 
secution under which the Catholics suffered had been gradually 
relaxed. Con wished to make her an active agent in the pro- 
pagation of the faith, and he was seconded by Walter Montague, 
who had been recently allowed to return to England, though 
he was received more warmly at Somerset House than at 
Whitehall. 1 Between them they succeeded in securing the 
support of the Queen for that work of individual proselytism 
which was to supersede Panzani's fantastic scheme for the ab- 
sorption of the Church of England. It is true that in the 
actual work of gaining converts Henrietta Maria took but little 
part ; but she showed a warm interest in the process, and she 
prided herself in protecting the converts made by others. It 
was her part to win from her fond husband, by arguments, 
by prayers, if need be by tears, their release from the conse- 
quences of a too open violation of the harsh laws which still 
held their place on the statute-book, and which were supported 
by a widely diffused public opinion. At one time she was 
closeted every morning with Con in eager consultation over 
the best means of swaying Charles's mind in favour of the 
Catholics. 2 

The protection of the Queen was invaluable to Con. For 

1 The following sketch by Con of his first impressions of the Queen's 
conduct is interesting : "Le attioni di S. M tk - sono piene d'incredibile 
innocenza, .a tale che in presenza di forastieri si vergogna come zite'la. II 
I'adre Filippo assevera che non ha peccato se non di omissione, di quali 
egli e nemico grande, e non perdona alii corrotti di cuore. In fede b 
peccatv, di carne non e mai tentata. Quando si confes;-a, e si communica, 
applica tanto che fa stupir il confessore e tutti. Nelle sue camere di letto 
nessuno puo entrare se non donne, con le quali si ritira qualche volta et 
attende a cose leggiere, ma innocenti. Patisce qualche volta di malinconia, 
et allora ama il silenzio. Quando sta afflitta ricorre con spirito a Dio. 
Al future applica poco, confidata tutta nel Re. Bisogna che prema piu di 
guadagnare li Ministri dello stato, de quali puo esser padrona volendo. A' 
questo et altro servira la presenza del Montagu, da me solledtata giande- 

mcnte." Con to Barberini, Aug. _, 1636, A'. O. Transcripts. 

3 Con to Barberini, ^^,1637, Add. MSS. 15,390^0!. 213. 


active energy he looked elsewhere. The soul of the proselytis- 
ing movement was Mrs. Porter, the wife of that Endymion 
Mrs. Porter's Porter who had been employed in so many secret 
converts. missions by James and Charles. By her mother 
she was a niece of Buckingham, and she had inherited the 
quick decision and ,the prompt impetuosity of the splendid 
favourite. One day she heard that her father, Lord Boteler, 
was seriously ill. At once she drove down to his 

March. J 

Lord BO- country seat, hurried the old man into her coach, 
and carried him up to London. She then brought 
the priests around him, and was able, before he died, to 
boast of him as a convert. Her triumph was the greater be- 
cause her Protestant sister, Lady Newport, had also driven off 
to secure the sick man, and had arrived at his house too late. 

The next object of Mrs. Porter's attack was the Marchioness 
of Hamilton, like herself, one of Buckingham's nieces. Lady 
Lady Ham- Hamilton's bright beauty had not long since been the 
iiton. theme of admiring tongues, which had celebrated her 

gentleness of heart as equal to the attractions of her person. She 
was now fading away under that wasting disease which carried 
her off a few months later. In this condition she was peculiarly 
susceptible to religious impressions, and she was plied with con- 
troversial books till she was almost ready to surrender. Her 
father, Lord Denbigh, 'a Puritan ass,' as Con contemptuously 
called him, summoned the Bishop of Carlisle to his assistance. 
The old argument that there was no safety in the next world 
for those who died outside the pale of the Roman Church was 
plentifully used. The bishop replied that if the lady remained 
a Protestant he would be ready to pledge his soul for 
her salvation.' "It will profit you little, my sister," 
sneered Mrs. Porter, "that this old man's soul should keep 
company with yours in the Devil's house." Lady Hamilton's 
conversion, however, was never openly avowed, either because, 
as Mrs. Porter fancied, she shrank from giving pain to her 
relations, or because, as is more probable, the influences of 
her old faith were still living in her heart, and made themselves 

1 ' Che mettera la sua anima per quella di lei.' 


heard as soon as she was removed from the overpowering 
presence of her impetuous cousin. 1 

Other converts, ladies for the most part, followed in no in- 
considerable numbers. At last the world was startled by the 
Lady New- news that even Lady Newport had announced herself 
port - a Catholic. In an unguarded moment she had un- 

dertaken the part of a champion of Protestantism, for which 
neither her temperament nor her knowledge fitted her. Once 
engaged in argument with the priests, she was beaten from 
point to point till she laid down her arms. Her husband, the 
eldest son of the adulterous union between the Earl of Devon- 
shire and Lady Rich, and thus the half-brother of Warwick 
and Holland, was high in Charles's favour. As Master of the 
Ordnance he held an important post in the service of the State. 
A Protestant by position and from a sense of honour rather 
than from a closely reasoned conviction, he felt his wife's change 
of religion as a slur upon his own good name. Hurrying to 

Lambeth, he adjured Laud to punish the instruments 
P n app^u of his misfortune. Together with Con he named 
to Laud. \v a i ter Montague and Sir Toby Matthew, though it 
would seem that the two latter had no part in the affair. Laud 
was eager enough to do as Newport wished. On the next 
Oct. 22. council-day he spoke his mind freely on the unusual 
^"chatthe f avours accorded to the Catholics, and begged the 
Council. King to forbid Montague's access to Court, and to 
allow proceedings to be taken against him in the High Com- 
mission. He knew well that he would himself be held account- 
able for these defections from the English Church. This time 
it seemed as if he would have his way. Charles expressed his 
displeasure at what had occurred, and declared his intention of 
providing a remedy. Laud, however, had counted without the 

Queen. Con had urged her to stand up stoutly for 

Con applies , ,. . ,,,. TT . , , 

to the her religion. When once Henrietta Maria was really 

Queen. interested in a cause, difficulty and danger only pro- 
duced on her an exhilarating effect. The language held by 
Laud in the Council was reported to her almost immediately 

' Con to Barbermi, Oct. , Add. MSS. 15,39x1, fol. 453. 


In the evening, when the King visited her in her apartments, 
she spoke her mind freely to him of the insolence of the Arch- 
bishop. Charles could not make up his mind to fly in his wife's 
face. " I doubt not," wrote Laud to Wentworth, after recounting 
what had taken place, " but I have enemies enough to make 
use of this. But, howsoever, I must bear it, and get out of the 
briars as I can. Indeed, my lord, I have a very hard task, and 
God, I beseech him, make me good corn, for I am between 
two great factions, very like corn between two mill-stones." l 

In his distress Laud appealed to the King. Charles re- 

commended him to seek out the Queen. " You will find my 

wife reasonable," he said He did not see that his 

Laud s ap- 

peal to the w ife had made herself the centre of the opposition 
.of which Laud complained. The Archbishop replied 
by proposing in full Council that her chapel at Somerset 
House, as well as the chapels of the ambassadors, should be 
closed against the entrance of English subjects. His proposal 
received warm support, and orders were given for the prepara- 
tion of a proclamation against the. Catholics. 

Con was warned of what had happened by his friends in 
the Council, and the Queen was. warned by Con. Henrietta 
The Queen's Maria took up the quarrel so warmly that Con be- 
displeasure. SOU ght her to moderate her excitement. She felt 
that in defending the liberty of her chapel she was warding off 
insult from herself. 

Charles tried to effect a compromise with his wife. He 

would leave Somerset House alone ; but he insisted that some- 

thing must be done with the chapels of the ambas- 


Threatened sadors. Ofiate, the Spanish Ambassador, who since 
Ee^ftack'by his arrival in England had been making himself as 
Sueen" d the disagreeable as he possibly could, had lately given 
offence by announcing that he would build a larger 
November, t j ian tne Q ueen herself could boast of. A pro- 

clamation therefore there must be. Charles, however, did his 

1 Con to Barbjrini, Oct. 2 , Add. MSS. 15,390, fol. 461. Laud's 

Diary, Oct. 22. Laud to Wentworth, Nov. i, Works, iii. 229, vii. 378. 
Garrard to Wentworth, Nov. 9, Straffoi d Letters, ii. 128. 


best to explain it away. * This sort of thing," he assured Con, 
" is done every year. No one would say a word against it if 
you would let my wite alone." Con had no intention of letting 
her alone. Her new position of protectress of her Church in 
England flattered her vanity. Her chapel was thronged with 
worshippers. The Holy Sacrament was on the altar till noon, 
to satisfy the devotion of the multitude of communicants. On 
festivals nine masses were celebrated in the course of the morn- 
ing. The Queen strove hard to induce the King to refrain from 
issuing any proclamation at all. It was a struggle for influence 
between her and Laud, and she threw herself into it with all 
the energy of which she was capable. To his astonishment, 
Con found himself growing in favour even with men who were 
known as Puritans, as soon as he measured his strength with the 
man whom they most abhorred. He at least, they said, professed 
his belief openly, which was more than could be said of Laud. l 
All through the month of November the struggle lasted. 
It was not till December that Con learnt that orders had been 
D secretly given for the issue of the proclamation. He 

again begged Charles to withdraw it, and Charles 
answered that it was merely directed against the scandal given 
by indiscreet Catholics. " With your good leave," he said, "I 
wish to show that I am of the religion which I profess. . . . 
Everyone ought to know that the quiet which the Catholics 
enjoy is derived from my clemency. It is necessary to remind 
them that they live in England, not in Rome." Con tried to 
irritate him against Laud. He replied that he was following 
the advice of the whole Council, not that of Laud alone. The 
proclamation, he added, would be moderate enough. In fact, 
as Con afterwards learnt, Charles had promised his wife to omit 
anything to which she might take exception. So complete was 
the Queen's triumph that she even consented to admit Laud to 
her presence, and to extend to him some qualified tokens of 
her favour. 2 

1 Con to Barberini, Nov. ^ , Add. MSS. 15,390, fol. 469, 476. 


2 Ibid. Dec. , ibid. fol. 498. Laud's Diary, Dec. 12, Works, iii. 230, 



Thus manipulated, the proclamation was at last issued on 

December 20. In its final shape it could hardly give offence 

Dec. o. to anyone. Even Con described it as ' so mild as to 

issue of the seem rather a paternal admonition to the Catholics 

proclama- * 

tion. than a menace.' The Puritans, he added, were of 

the same opinion. In fact> it contained nothing more than a 
threat that those who persisted in withdrawing his Majesty's 
subjects from the Church of England would do so ' under pain 
of the several punishments ' provided by the law, and that 
all who gave scandal by the celebration of masses would 
be punished according to their offence. No definition was 
given of the amount of notoriety which was to constitute 
scandal. ' 

Gentle as the admonition was, Henrietta Maria could not 

resist the temptation to treat it with contempt. On Christmas 

Dec. 25. Day, by her special orders, Lady Newport and the 

The mass at other recent converts were marshalled to receive the 

the Queens 

chapel. communion in a body at Somerset House. As soon 
as the Queen returned to her apartments she called Con to her 
side. "You have now seen," she said to him triumphantly, 
"what has come of the proclamation." 2 

The Queen's open defiance of the proclamation gave the 

tone to every priest in England. Never were masses more 

publicly celebrated in the ambassadors' chapels, or 

The procla- " 

mation de- with less concealment in the houses of the Catholic 
laity. " Before you came," said Lady Arundel to Con, 
1638. " I would not for a million have entertained a priest at 
June. m y table, and now you see how common a thing it 
is." The proclamation, in fact, had been merely wrung from 
Charles by Laud's insistance, supported by the special annoy- 
ance caused by the bravado of the Spanish Ambassador. He 
was too sure of his own position, too blind to the real dangers by 
which it was surrounded, to sympathise with Laud's perception 
of the risk which he would incur by holding the balance uneven 
between the Puritans and the Catholics. "The Archbishop," 

1 Proclamation, Dec. 20, Rymer, xx. 180. 

2 Con to Barberini, ^~ 9 , Add. MSS. 15,391, foL I. 


he said to Con, " is a very henest man, but he wants to have 
everything his own way." l 

There is no reason to regret that Laud did not in this case 
have his way. The danger from Rome was less serious than 
Amount of ^ seemed. The bait held out by the Papal clergy 
danger. appealed to the lower and more selfish side of hu- 
man nature. Fantastic speculators like Sir Kenelm Digby, witty 
intriguers like Walter Montague, brought no real strength to 
the cause which they espoused ; whilst the gay Court ladies, 
whose life had hitherto been passed in a round of amusement, 
were personally the better by submitting to a sterner discipline 
than any which they had hitherto known. The arguments by 
which they had been moved appealed to motives too low to 
exercise any attractive force over the real leaders of the age, of 
to be otherwise than repulsive to the sense of honour which was 
the common property of English gentlemen. 

Even such a man, for instance, as William Cavendish, Earl 
of Newcastle, was entirely beyond the reach of Con. In the 
The Earl of summer of 1638 he was selected by Charles to be 
Newcastle, foe governor of his eldest son. " He was a fine gen- 
tleman," wrote Clarendon, who knew him well ; " active and 
full of courage, and most accomplished in those qualities of 
horsemanship, dancing, and fencing which accompany a good 
breeding, in which his delight was. Besides that, he was 
amorous in poetry and music, to which he indulged the greatest 
part of his time. . . . He loved monarchy, as it was the founda- 
tion of his own greatness ; and the Church, as it was constituted 
for the splendour and security of the Crown ; and religion, as 

1 Con to Barberini, June -, July , 1638, Add. MSS. fol. 164, 204. 

Laud's bewilderment at the charge brought against him of being secretly 
a Roman Catholic is well expressed by some words which he made use of 
nearly two years previously. " Because," he said, " he strove to maintain 
the old orders of the Church, the common people, who were enemies to all 
order and government, proclaimed him a Papist ; but (if he had been one) 
he had had reason enough besides his ill-usage he had when he had no 
friend at Court but the King to have left the Church and have gone 
beyond seas." Charles Lewis to Elizabeth, May 31, 1636, Forster MSS. 
in the South Kensington Museum. 

. 2 


it cherished and maintained that order and obedience that was 
necessary to both, without any other passion for the particular 
opinions which were grown up in it and distinguished it into 
parties, than as he detested whatsoever was like to disturb 
the public peace." l Con's report of Newcastle tallies almost 
exactly with that of the English historian. " In matters of 
religion," he wrote, " the Earl is too indifferent. He hates the 
Puritans, he laughs at the Protestants, and has little confidence 
in the Catholics. In speaking with him, therefore, I have been 
obliged to touch upon first principles, and to bring him to the 
axiom that in things doubtful the safer part is to be chosen." 2 
It was to no purpose that the temptation was held out to a 
man like Newcastle. His careless, worldly temper gave as little 
hold to Con as the higher virtue of a nobler nature. 

Enough was, however, done to alarm the English Pro- 
testants. The charge, indeed, which a later age has to bring 
Engiuh feel- against Charles is not that he abstained from per- 
!he c?hoiic secuting the Catholics, but that he failed to give fair 
eonversions. pi a y to the diverse elements of which the English 
Church was compounded. Whilst Catholic books passed from 
hand to hand, Puritanism was an object of derision to all who 
took their tone from Whitehall, and of stern repression in the ec- 
clesiastical courts. Men who had no sympathy with Calvinistic 
dogmatism were attracted by that stern morality which rebuked 
the solemn trifling which was the atmosphere of Charles's 

To the growing feeling of dissatisfaction Milton gave ex- 
pression in that high satire which bursts forth, as if from some 
Milton's suddenly raised volcano, out of the smooth and grace- 
Lyddas. f u \ lamentations of the Lyridas. Nothing in Milton's 
past life gave warning of the intensity of his scorn Nothing 
in the subject which he had chosen invited him to check the 
flow of his private grief that he might bewail the public sorrows 
of his time. Yet from these public sorrows he could not avert 
his gaze. As it had been with Dante, the poet of medieval 

1 Clarendon* viii. 82. 

4 Con to Barberini, Sept. 7 , Add, MSS. 15,391, fol. 235. 

1637 MILTON'S ' LYCIDAS? 245 

Catholicism, so was it with the man who was training himself 
to be one day the poet of English Puritanism. Not alone the 
living interest in the joys and sorrows of the great world around 
him, but even the mere official acquaintance with the dry details 
of that public business, by means of which rulers attempt, if they 
rise at all to the height of their duty, to increase those joys and 
to alleviate those sorrows, were in time to strengthen the Eng- 
lishman, as they had strengthened the great Italian, to seek for 
consolation in a serener and purer atmosphere than that in 
which the best and wisest of statesmen must be content to work. 
Milton had not as yet had any close insight into the difficulties 
of government. He saw the evil ; he could not descry the 
hindrances to good. Before the eye of his imagination rose the 
Apostle Peter, mournfully addressing the dead Lycidas, lost too 
early to earthly service. The indignant poet cannot choose 
but tell how ' the pilot of the Galilean lake ' 

Shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake, 

' How well would I have spared for thee, young swain, 

Enow of such as for their bellies' sake 

Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold ! 

Of other care they little reckoning make, 

Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast 

And shove away the worthy bidden guest. 

Blind mouths ! that scarce themselves know how to hold 

A sheep hook, or have learnt aught else the least 

That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs, 

What recks it them ? What need they ? They are sped, 

And when they list their lean and flashy songs 

Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw. 

The hungry sheep look up and arc not fed, 

But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw 

Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread, 

Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw 

Daily devours apace and nothing said." 

Milton's indignation was not as the indignation of Prynne 

or Bastwick. He did not approach the Church question from 

, the ceremonial side. He did not as yet care to ask 

Character of J 

Milton's in- whether the Church ought to be Episcopalian or 

Presbyterian. There is still a touch of the poet of 

// Penseroso and of the Elegy on Bishop Andrewes in the 


' mitred locks ' of Peter. He is kindled to wrath by the moral 
results of Laud's discipline results which he doubtless exag- 
gerated, but which were certainly not entirely imaginary. He 
saw that, whether Laud was consciously tending towards the 
Roman Church or not, his superabundant care for the externals 
of religion was eating the heart out of English Protestantism. 
It invited the allegiance of men to whom nothing was easier 
than to assume a posture or to clothe themselves in a vestment. 
It repelled the allegiance of men who saw in that posture or 
that vestment a token of the subordination to external forms of 
the spiritual life itself. 

Milton did more than denounce the system which he hated 
so thoroughly. He predicted its speedy overthrow. He an- 
nounced that 

That two-handed engine at the door 

Stands ready to smite once and smite no more. 

The prophecy was doubtless intentionally left in vague and 
mysterious outline, but its general intention was unmistakable. 1 

Milton's voice expressed the deepest feelings of the nation. 
Slowly and reluctantly the generation of serious Englishmen 

6 now advancing towards middle age was coming to 
John Hutch- the conclusion that the overthrow of the Laudian 
system was the one thing necessary for the restora- 
tion of a healthy spiritual life. The feeling was all the stronger 

1 It is impossible to be dogmatical on the precise meaning of the words, 
but the interpretation of its referring to the two Houses of Parliament 
cannot be right. Not only was an irr peaching Parliament out of the range 
of probability in 1637, but the engine was to be held by two hands, not to 
be two engines held by one. The idea of the axe laid to the root of the 
tree seems most natural. Professor Masson says {Milton's Works, iii. 455) 
that the engine here ' is at the door of an edifice, not at the root of a tree.' 
Milton, however, may have meant to mingle the idea of smiting the system 
with the idea of smiting the persons who supported it. He may not have 
wished to be too definite, and the expression ' blind mouths ' shows that 
we must not look for rigid consistency. Perhaps, too, he was thinking in 
an indistinct way of the iron flail with which Talus stormed the castle of 
the Lady Munera, and wished to intensify the crushing nature of the blow 
by turning the one-handed weapon of Spenser into a two-handed engine. 


because all moral earnestness was repelled by the loose follies 
of the Court. The growth of this feeling may be traced in 
the career of John Hutchinson, whose character has been por- 
trayed by his widow, under the mellowing light of wifely affec- 
tion. He was educated at Peter House, the college of Cosin 
and Crashaw, the college which, more than any other, attempted 
to exorcise the spirit of Puritanism. Yet he was able to boast 
that, after five years, he came away untainted with the prin- 
ciples or practices of the followers of Laud. On the other 
hand, he did not come away with any confirmed dislike of the 
Church in which those principles and practices had taken root. 
He was ' not yet enlightened to discern the spring of them in 
the rites and usages of the English Church.' His was the Puri- 
tanism of the polished and practical country gentleman, versed 
from his youth up in the conduct of business, and accustomed 
to conduct it with a strict but not ungraceful morality, which 
left room for the ornaments and enjoyments of life. At college 
'he kept not company with any of the vain young persons, but 
with the graver men and those by whose conversation he mi 6 ht 
gain improvement. . . . For his exercise he practised tennis, 
and played admirably well at it ; for his diversion he chose 
music, and got a very good hand, which afterwards he improved 
to a very good mastery on the viol.' He danced and vaulted 
with grace and agility, studied eagerly, learning being regarded 
by him ' as a handmaid to devotion and as a great improver of 
natural reason.' His choice of the decorations of life was 
made under a sense of serious self-restraint. " In those things 
that were of mere pleasure he loved not to aim at that he could 
not attain ; he would rather wear clothes absolutely plain than 
pretend to gallantry, and would rather choose to have none 
than mean jewels or pictures and such other things as were not 
of absolute necessity. . . . His whole life was the rule of tem- 
perance in meat, drink, apparel, pleasure, and all those things 
that may be lawfully enjoyed, and herein his temperance was 
more excellent than in others, in whom it is not so much a 
virtue, but proceeds from want of appetite or gust of pleasure ; 
in him it was a true, wise, and religious government of the de- 
sire and delight he took in the things that he enjoyed. He 


had a certain activity of spirit which could never endure idle- 
ness either in himself or others, and that made him eager for 
the time he indulged it, as well in pleasure as in business ; 
indeed, though in youth he exercised innocent sports a little 
while, yet afterwards his business was his pleasure. But how 
intent soever he were in anything, how much soever it delighted 
him, he could freely and easily cast it away when God called 
him to something else. He had as much modesty as could 
consist with a true virtuous assurance, and hated an impudent 
person. Neither in youth nor in riper age could the most fair 
or enticing women ever draw him into unnecessary familiarity 
or vain converse or dalliance with them, yet he despised nothing 
of the female sex but their follies and vanities ; wise and 
virtuous women he loved, and delighted in all pure, holy, and 
unblamable conversation with them, but so as never to excite 
scandal or temptation. Scurrilous discourse even among men 
he abhorred ; and though he sometimes took pleasure in wit 
and mirth, yet that which was mixed with impurity he never 
would endure. The heat of his youth a little inclined him to 
the passion of anger, and the goodness of his nature to those 
of love and grief; but reason was never dethroned by them, 
but continued governor and moderator of his soul." 

Such was the character for Hutchinson was but a type 
of a large section of society of the noblest class of English 
Hutchinson Puritans, of men who possessed their souls in pati- 
not^stPuri- ence . uttering no cry of scorn or anger. It was the 
tanism. steady and persistent refusal of these men to coun- 
tenance the Court and its ways which made the opposition of 
such as Prynne and Bastwick really formidable, and which 
gave weight to the forlorn hopes which from time to time dashed 
themselves, apparently in vain, against the defences of the 

Of such forlorn hopes there were enough and to spare. In 
the winter of 1637 it was the turn of John Lilburne, a youth 
1637. of twenty, who had just returned from Holland. A 
i^bur^e's'' certam Chillington, accused of circulating Puritan 
ca e - books printed beyond the sea, saved himself by 

charging Lilburne with having them printed at Rotterdam. 

.037 JOHN LILBURNE. 249 

Lilburne was arrested and interrogated, but he absolutely denied 
that he had had anything to do with Chillington's books. 
When asked questions on more general matters, he refused to 
answer. No one, he said, had a right to make him criminate 
either himself or others. He was brought before the Star 
Chamber, and ordered to take the usual oath that he would 
answer truly to all questions that might be put to him. This 
he steadily refused to do. He came of a sturdy and self-willed 
race. His father was a Yorkshire gentleman, who was the last 
man in England to compel the unwilling judges to allow him 
to commit a lawsuit to the chances of trial by battle. 1 Of this 
opinionativeness he had inherited his full share. In the course 
of a stirring life he was never in accord with any Government, 
and never missed an opportunity of making known to the 
world the grievances which he entertained against every 
Government The claim which he now made went far beyond 
the doctrine ultimately accepted by English Courts that no man 
may be compelled to criminate himself. He refused to swear 
to answer truly to any questions of which he did not at the 
time of his oath know the import a claim which, if admitted, 
would make it impossible to cross-examine any witness what- 
ever. Like all the courts, the Star Chamber was peculiarly 
sensitive to any attack upon its rules, and especially upon the 
system under which, for so many years, it had been in the habit 
of procuring evidence from unwilling witnesses. Lilburne was 

accordingly sentenced to be whipped from the Fleet 
is carrfed" 06 to Palace Yard, and then to be placed in the pillory. 

All along the Strand the lash descended on his back. 
Smarting with pain, he was placed in the pillory. In spite of 
his agony he exhorted the bystanders to resist the tyranny of 
the bishops, and scattered amongst them a few copies of Bast- 
wick's pamphlets which he had in his pockets. The Court of 

Star Chamber was in session hard by, and an angry 

His harsh . . " e ' 

imprison- order to gag him was issued at once. Another order 

directed the Warden of the Fleet to place him in 

irons on his return, and to keep him in solitary confinement 

1 The King, however, refused to allow the combat to proceed. The 
Case in 1818 did not proceed so far, as the demand was withdrawn. 


* where the basest and meanest sort of prisoners are used to be 
put,' to prohibit his friends from visiting him or supplying him 
with money. But for the persistent contrivance of his admirers 
Lilburne would have been starved to death. The Warden held 
that it was no part of his duty to supply the prisoners with 
food. Those who had no money were accustomed to beg their 
food from the charitable who passed the door ; but Lilburne 
was debarred even from that wretched resource. The other 
prisoners, half-starved and ragged as they were, entered into a 
conspiracy in his favour. They shared their crusts and broken 
victuals with him, in spite of blows and kicks from the turn- 
keys. Sometimes this precarious aid failed, and on one occa- 
sion the unfortunate man passed ten whole days without tasting 
food. Yet, broken in health as he could not fail to be, his in- 
domitable spirit held up, and he survived to unfold the horrors 
of his prison house to sympathising ears. 1 

It is the nature of a government like that of Laud to be 

too readily terrified to take advantage of the real strength of 

its position. Englishmen had not so changed since 

Laud too __,... . . ... 

easily fright- the days of Elizabeth as to be anxious to deliver 
themselves over to be manipulated by a Prynne or a 
Bastwick, or even by a Milton or a Hutchinson. There were 
many thousands who still regarded with reverent admiration the 
old Prayer Book, which they had learned to love as children. 
There were probably many more thousands who had no wish 
to see cakes and ale banished from life. The most popular 
George verse-writer of the day was George Wither, and 
wither. Wither was neither a Laudian nor a Puritan. En- 
dowed with considerable poetic gifts, he had unfortunately 
mistaken his vocation in life. He had given up writing good 
songs in order to write bad satire. He derided alike new 
practices and abstruse doctrines. His view of government was 
the simple one that kings ought not to be tyrannical, and that 
parliaments ought not to be exacting. People were to be con- 
tent with the rule in Church and State under which they were 
born, provided that it made no very violent demands upon 

1 State Trials, iii. 1315. 


their consciences, and provided that they could attain under it 
to a placid and decorous virtue. Of this virtue, as far as can 
be judged by Wither's own example, the chief constituent was 
to be found in a self-complacent recognition of the extreme 
sinmlness of others and an equally self-complacent assurance 
that this sinfulness of others was certain to bring Divine ven- 
gence down upon the world. 1 

Men of this temper and there can be little doubt that the 
middle classes of the towns were very much of this temper 
would have formed the best security that a Government could 
have wished against Puritan violence. Laud's proceedings 
irritated them in every possible way, till they forgot that Puri- 
tanism could be irritating at all. , 

The only man who was fitted by his mental qualities for the 

task of mediation in the dark days which were approaching 

was unhappily disqualified for the work by his own 

bishop moral defects as well as by the King's dislike. 

Bishop Williams had been for many years an object 

of a Star Chamber prosecution, on the ground that he had 

betrayed some secrets entrusted to him as a Privy Councillor. 

l628 . The charge seems to have been a frivolous one, and 
Star Cham- j t was probably only brought in order to frighten 

ber prosecu* J 

tion against Williams into the surrender of the Deanery of West- 
minster, which he still held, together with his 
bishopric. In 1633 the affair took an unexpected turn. A 
certain Kilvert, to whom the case against the Bishop had 
!6 33 . been entrusted, and who was himself a man of low 
charge moral character, discovered that one of Williams's 


Pregion. witnesses, named Pregion, was the father of an ille- 
gitimate child, and he fancied that by attacking Pregion on 
this score he might succeed in discrediting his evidence in the 
Bishop's favour. 

Williams threw himself into the cause of his witness with 
characteristic ardour. It is possible that at first he may have 

1 See especially Britain's Remembrancer, published in 1628. The idea 
of the subject of predestination being one for the devils in hell to discuss 
appears here long before Paradise Lost was written. 


regarded Kilveit's story as an impudent fabrication, but he can 

1634. hardly have retained that opinion long ; and there 
^biainr^ise can b e ^ ttle doubt that he demeaned himself to 
evidence. the subornation of false evidence in order to uphold 
the character of a man whose support he needed in his own 
quarrel with the Court. 1 

A fresh prosecution of Williams on the charge of subor- 
nation of perjury was now commenced in the Star Chamber. 

!6 35 . Williams saw his danger, and asked Laud to be his 
fec e udo p n r o"f mediator with the King. 2 He could hardly have 
w.iiiams. expected Laud to throw much warmth into his 
mediation, and he turned with greater hope to Portland, and 
after Portland's death to Cottington. Cottington was impor- 
tunate, and Charles was weak. Before the end of 1635 the 
November. King had promised to pardon the Bishop. The 
hopeTofa only question related to the rate at which the par- 
pardon. <jon was to be purchased. " Thus much," wrote Laud 
in despair, "can money and friends do against honour in 
movable Courts." 3 

Suddenly Williams found the barque of his fortunes drifting 

out again to sea. Fresh evidence of his misdemeanours 

December, reached the King's ears, 4 and Charles withdrew his 

hesitation, promise of a pardon. A few months later the King 

1636. was again hesitating. Sir John Mor.son, who had 
been maligned by Williams, and by whom the new accusations 
had been brought, was informed that Williams had been 
boasting that he was now reconciled to the King, and that 
those who appeared against him had better be careful of 

1 Notes of proceedings, May 27, June 16, 23, 1637, S. P. Dom. ccclvii. 
104 ; ccclxi. 99 ; ccclxii. 34. Racket's narrative is too inaccurate to be 
accepted as a firm foundation. I have drawn my own conclusions from 
the evidence produced at the trial. Mr. Bruce appears, from his preface 
to the Calendar for 1637, to have come to much the same conclusion as I 

2 Laud to Williams, Jan. 10, 1635, Works, vi. 402. 

3 Laud to Wentworth, Jan. 12, Oct. 4, Nov. 30, ibid. vi. 138, 171, 

1 Lambe to Laud, Dec. 3, 10 ; Monson to Laud, Dec. n ; Monson's 
petition, Lambeth MSS. mxxx. Nos. 39, 40, 41, 42. 


attacking a man who would soon be in full enjoyment of the 
Royal favour. Monson asked Charles if there was any founda- 
tion for this assertion. " The King," he afterwards informed 
Laud, "answered he would be free with me, and thereupon 
said it was true that he was in some treaty with the Bishop, 
who had enlarged his offers, and was now willing to yield his 
deanery, give 8,ooo/., and leave me to my course in law for my 
repair, but that he had not given him any assurance of his 
acceptance of these terms, nor would if my information were 
truth." Williams only looked upon his present rebuff as a 
mischance originating from his neglect to offer a bribe suffi- 
ciently high. He soon gained over Lennox as well as 
Cottington to his side, and, unless Monson was misinformed, 
he assured the courtiers who were pleading his cause that 
whatever the sum might be which he was required to pay to 
the King, they should have as much again to divide amongst 
themselves. Monson took care that this should reach the 
King's ears, advising him to make a better bargain by allow- 
ing the law to take its course, and by taking all the money 
that could be got from Williams for himself. In the end this 
reasoning prevailed. 1 The whole negotiation did no credit to 
Charles. The lower side of Wentworth's ' Thorough ' was per- 
fectly intelligible to him. The higher side he was unable to 

Stung by his failure to bribe his way to impunity, Williams 

threw himself once more into ecclesiastical controversy. A 

November Do ^ recently published by Laud's chaplain, Heylyn, 

The Holy A Coal from the Altar, had contained an attack upon 

Name and Williams's well-known views about the position of the 

communion-table. To this he replied anonymously 

in The Holy Table, Name and T/iing. 2 The authorship of the 

book was an open secret. It was one long argument in favour 

of that compromise which Williams had recommended from 

the beginning as the only legal arrangement ; the compromise 

1 Letters and Papers of .Sir J. Monson, Aug. 1636, Lambeth MSS. 
mxxx. Nos. 47, 48. 

- IKylyn's hook was licensed May 5 ; Williams's was licensed for his 
own diocese Nov. 30. 


by which the table, usually standing at the east end of the 
church, was to be brought down to some place in the church or 
chancel at the time of the administration of the Communion. 
As might be expected, Williams preserved the courtesies of 
debate far better than Prynne or Bast wick. His work was, 
perhaps, all the more galling for that. Heylyn deemed it 
worthy of a serious reply, and Laud referred to it bitterly in 
the speech which he delivered at the censure of Prynne ; but 
neither Laud nor Heylyn made any serious effort to refute its 
main position. 

By this book Williams, who had sought to escape by the aid 

of the Catholics and semi-Catholics of the Court, 1 threw him- 

i6 self once more on the side of the Puritans and 

June 16. semi- Puritans. For the present his change of front 

rtie e s c tar e '" was likely to avail him little. On June 16, 1637, the 

chamber. nex j. ^ ourt day a f ter sentence had been pronounced 

on Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton, his case was called on in 

the Star Chamber. The evidence for the prosecution was too 

strong to be resisted. When the day of sentence arrived, 

Williams's old patron, Cottington, led the way by suggesting a 

fine of io,ooo/. to the Kine, and one of 1,000 marks 

July ix. 

The sen- to Sir John Monson. The Bishop was also to be 
referred to the High Commission for ecclesiastical 
oensure, to be suspended from the exercise of his functions, 
to be deprived of the profits of all his benefices, and to be 
imprisoned during the King's pleasure. This proposal was 
unanimously adopted, and the High Commission confirmed 
the decree of the Star Chamber so far as it related to matters 
within its special jurisdiction. 2 

Williams was sent to the Tower. The administration of 
his diocese was confided to his most bitter adversaries. By 
the King's command Laud offered him the terms on which 
alone he could recover his freedom. He must either pay his 

1 Panzani had hitherto regarded Williams as a friend of the Catholics. 

2 Rushworth, ii. 416. Commissioners for causes ecclesiastical to Wil- 
liams, July 18. .Sentence of suspension, July 24, S. /*. Dom. cclxiv. 12, 
43. See also Rossingham's Newsletters in Documents relating to Prynnt 
(Camd. Soc.) 


fine or give good security for its payment. He must surrender 
Aug. 30. his bishopric, receiving ii return another either in 
Terms Wales or Ireland, and must give up all his other be- 
wiihams. nefices. He must further acknowledge that he had 
committed the crime imputed to him, and that he had erred in 
writing The Holy Table, Name and Thing. 1 Many weary 
months passed over the prisoner's head before he was ready to 
accept these hard conditions even in part. 

In Williams the spirit of compromise, which was the 
characteristic mark of his genius, was marred by his moral 
The Latitu- defects. No such complaint could be made of a 
dinanans. group of men who were working in the same direction, 
and who, if they failed to mould their own age after their 
image, have long been looked up to by later generations as the 
pioneers of thought. These men were Lucius Gary, Viscount 
Falkland, William Chillingworth, and John Hales. 

Lucius Gary was the son of the Lord Deputy who had pre- 
ceded Wentworth in Ireland. When he was but twelve years 

old he was taken by his father to Dublin, and was 

1622. * 

Lord Faik- there educated at Trinity College. 2 As soon as he 
had completed his academical course he prepared 
for a soldier's life, and, young as he was, was entrusted by his 
father's ill-judged weakness with the command of a company. 
As soon as the Lord Deputy was recalled, the Lords Justices, 
glad to make a cheap exhibition of virtue at the expense of the 
son of a man with whom they had been at variance, deprived 
the lad of his military rank, and appointed Sir Francis Wil- 
1629. loughby, an abler and more experienced soldier, 3 in 
Challenges his place. Young Gary, being unable to reach the 
loughby Lords Justices, sent a challenge to Willoughby, and 
was consequently committed to prison and threatened with a 
prosecution in the Star Chamber. Charles, however, set him 

1 The paper containing these terms is in Laud's hand, and endorsed, 
"The King commanded me to set them down." Aug. 30, Lambeth MSS. 
mxxx. fol. 68 b. 

* On his mysterious connection with St. John's, Cambridge, see 
Tulloch's Rational 7 heology, i. 183. 

1 He did good service afterwards in defending Dublin Castle in 1641. 


free after a short confinement of ten days,- allowing him the 
arrears of his pay, and adding a special acknowledgment that 
he had lost his command through no fault of his own. 2 

The young man was doubtless gratified by the compliment. 

He stood in no need of the money. His mother, a violent 

Becomesheir an( ^ overbearing woman, the daughter of Chief Baron 

to his grand- Tanfield. had lately declared herself a Catholic a 

step which so annoyed her father that he passed 

her over in his will and left his estates directly to his grandson. 

As soon, therefore, as he came of age young Gary 

found himself master of Great Tew, in Oxfordshire. 

Scarcely was he settled there when he gave offence to his father 

by entering upon a marriage of affection with a portionless 

lady. With the warm impulsiveness which was the principal 

charm of his character and at the same time the source of his 

greatest errors, he offered to lesign the whole estate into his 

father's hands if only he might have a father's love. The offer 

was made in vain. The first Lord Falkland died in 1633, un- 

, 633< reconciled to his son. The young man who now 

Becomes inherited the Scottish title of Falkland was as yet 

Lord Falk- 
land, but little known to the world at large. For some 

years he devoted himself to his books and his friends. Falk- 
Hisiifeat land's house was the meeting-place for wits and 
Great Tew, p oe (; S as we u as f or scholars and divines. Carew 
and Suckling, Walter Montague and Sir Kenelm Digby were 
counted amongst his friends, whilst Sheldon and Morley knew 
how to lead the conversation to severer topics. Falkland him- 
self played the part of host to perfection. All who had any 
seriour. purpose on hand had generous welcome at Great Tew. 
Univeuily men from Oxford 'found their lodgings there as 
ready w; in the colleges ; nor did the lord of the house know 
of their coming or going, nor who were in his house, till he 
came to dinner or supper, where all still met ; otherwise there 
was no trouble, ceremony, or restraint to forbid men to come 

J Lady Theresa Lewis, Lives of the Friends of Clarendon, i. 189. 

* I found this in some formal document in the Record Office, I think 
in the enrolment of the Privy Seal granting the arrears ; but I have lost 
thi reference. 


to the house or to make them weary of staying there ; so that 
many came thither to study in a better air, finding all the 
books they could desire in his library, and all the persons 
.together whose society they could wish, and not find it in any 
other society.' l 

Falkland's mind was as hospitable as his house. He was 
in the highest sense of the words a seeker after truth, and he 
His cha- was unable to conceive that anything could be true 
which was not pure and of good report. His virtues 
were accompanied by their attendant defects. He was more 
.keen to detect faultiness than to provide a remedy. He missed 
being a great man by a little, but that little was enough. He 
was too large-minded to take a mere party mould, and he was 
not sufficiently large-minded to stand above party altogether. 
He swayed from side to side as the special evils of either struck 
him more vividly. It was characteristic of him that of all 
poets he rated Ben Jonson most highly, and that in the cata- 
logue of poetic gifts which he attributed to his favourite 

Wit, judgment, learning, art or industry,. 

the highest of all, the supreme gift of imagination, was want- 
.ing. It is equally missing in Falkland's own versification, 
and in this his versification was but the expression of his life. 
He was too clear-sighted to make a great party-leader, like 
Wentworth or Pym. He could not work out the results of a 
.special political principle, and push it to its extreme conse- 
quences regardless of other principles which might commend 
themselves to other minds. His gentle, loving heart longed to 
compose the differences of the world, and to bid the weapons 
fall from hands which were prepared for bitter war. But the 
comprehensiveness of his heart was not supported by compre- 
hensiveness of brain. The desire for reconciliation vented 
itself in impulsive anger against those who at any given time 
stood forth as obstacles to reconciliation ; it did not lead up 
to the reconciling thought which would have satisfied the reason- 

1 Clarendon, Life, i. 41. There is a curious echo of this description in 
(he account of Allworthy V hospitality in Tom Jones. 



able desires of both parties. When he chose a side he did not 
know half its faults. When he deserted it he did not know 
half its merits. 

Falkland had not yet thrown himself into opposition. In 
1637 he went out of his way to praise the King, compliment- 
His praise of m g him on the sovereignty of the seas in a way 
the King. not verv cons j s tent with any strong feeling on the 
subject of ship-money, though the fact that he was a defaulter 
in respect of at least one of his estates may be allowed to stand 
for something on the opposite side. 1 Ben Jonson had just been 
carried to the grave, full of years and honours. He, wrote 
Falkland, would have told in befitting verse 

How mighty Charles, amidst that weighty care 
In which three kingdoms as their blessing share 
(Whom as it tends with ever- watchful eyes, 
That neither power may force nor art surprise, 
So, bounded by no shore, grasps all the main, 
And far as Neptune claims extends his reign), 
Found still some time to hear and to admiie 
The happy sounds of his harmonious lyre. 2 

It was on a question of religion that Falkland was first drawn 
into the controversies of the world around him. His mother, 
is drawn having changed her own religion, was anxious to 
troverly 000 ma ^ e proselytes of all upon whom her influence 
with Rome. cou id be brought to bear. Assailed by the usual 
argument that there was no infallibility but in the Roman 
Church, and no salvation without infallibility, Falkland was 
driven to examine the grounds of his faith. Under no cir- 
cumstances is it conceivable that a mind so rational and so 
candid could have accepted these propositions ; but though 
Falkland's tendencies of thought belonged to himself, there was 
something in the very gentleness of his nature which led him at 
every important crisis in his life to seek out the support of a 
mind stronger and more self-reliant than his own. In different 
phases of his political career he rested alternately on Hampden 
and on Hyde. In his earlier days he rested on Chillingworth 

1 Arrears for Hertfordshire, 1637, S. f. Dom. ccclxxvi. 106. 
* Falkland's Poems, ed. Grosart. 


in their common effort to free religious belief from bondage to 
human authority. 1 

Though so nearly akin in their aims, the two men differed 
widely in their mental characteristics. In Falkland the rea- 
soning powers were subordinate to the moral per- 

Falkland . r . . . v 

and chii ceptions. In Chillmgworth they exercised almost 
undivided sway. He was, above all things, a thinker. 
His singularly clear intellect met with but little resistance from 
those sympathies and antipathies which with most men count 
for so much. When once he had made up his mind that any 
given course was dictated by reason, nothing except conviction 
by argument that he had been mistaken would deter him from 
acting on his belief. 

Chillingworth's early life was passed in circumstances which 
boded for him a prosperous career. Born at Oxford in 1602, 

l6o2- he had Laud for his godfather. He received a good 
chilling- education, and in 1628 he became a Fellow of 

worth s early . . ',,,,.... , . 

life. Trinity. Suddenly his friends learnt, to their con- 

sternation, that he had betaken himself to Douai as a convert 

to the Papal Church. The Jesuit Fisher had laid 

before him the argument that an infallible guide in 

matters of faith was necessary for salvation, and that such a guide 
was only to be found in the Roman Church. Chillingworth was at 
a loss for a reply, and, as usual, he followed the superior argu- 
ment. A very brief residence at Douai convinced him that he 
had not searched the question to the bottom. Books of Jesuit 
theology were in the habit of applying the test of probability to 
moral action, and it is by no means unlikely that from them 
Chillingworth drew the unintended inference that, if it was 
enough to act upon the mere probability that the action was 
right, it might be enough to believe on the mere probability 
that the belief was true. If he accepted this as the best theory 
which he could form, it was evident that he had no further 
need of an infallible guide. 

In making up his mind to return to the English Church 
Chillingworth had been helped by letters from Laud. The 

1 I am aware that the reverse has been asserted, but the relation of the 
two minds seems too clear to admit of any other view than thi: 



positions assumed by the two men were in the main identical. In 
his conference with Fisher. Laud had, indeed, declared 

Laud and 

Chilling- that it was unnecessary to require assent to more than 
the fundamental articles of the Christian faith ; l but 
it was not likely that any argument would fare in Laud's hands 
exactly as it would fare in Chillingworth's. Laud would be 
sure to add something about the consent of antiquity and the 
practical advantages of submission to authority. Chillingworth 
would leave it in its own naked simplicity. 

Chillingworth had not been long in England before he 
Chining- began to prepare himself for that great controversial 
^res his 6 " wor k by which he hoped to guide others along the 
great work, path in which his own feet had stumbled. 

In 1630 a Jesuit who passed by the name of Edward Knott 
had published a book under the name of Charity Mistaken, in 
which he argued that, except under exceptional cir- 
ckarity cumstances, there was no salvation for Protestants. 
Mistaken. In ^^ Dr Potter had answered the book, and the 
Jesuit then replied in support of his former reason- 
Potter's ing. It was here that Chillingworth intervened in 
reply. ^ ne con t r oversy. For three years he was laying the 

foundations of the book in which the great weapon of the 
Catholic armoury was to be put to the proof. 

The attraction of the library at Great Tew drew Chilling- 
worth to Falkland. Intercourse quickly ripened into intimacy, 
, 635> and tradition tells how much of the argument of the 
Chilling- scholar was owing to the suggestions of the peer. 

worth at . . . .... 

Great Tew. Those who have read with attention the writings of 
the two men will probably come to the conclusion that the peer 
owed more to the scholar than he gave. Falkland's 
reply to the letter in which Walter Montague an- 
nounced his conversion goes over much the same ground as 

1 Such a sentence as the following, for instance, has a very Chilling- 
worthian ring : " The Church of England never declared that every one of 
her articles are fundamental in the faith ; for it is one thing to say, No one 
of them is superstitious or erroneous, and quite another to say, Every one 
of them is fundamental, and that in every part of it, to all men's belief." 
Laud's Works, ii. 60. 


that which was subsequently occupied by Chillingworth ; but 
the arguments are urged without that sharp incisiveness which 
marks the work of the stronger reasoner. 

It is by no means unlikely that Chillingworth had braced 
himself to his labours at Laud's instigation, though no evidence 

, to that effect is in existence. At all events, before 
direction to the book was published Laud had ample reason to 
look upon it with interest In a short pamphlet 
Knott sought to discredit by anticipation the reply which he 
expected. He charged the author with Socinianism, and 
flouted him on his pretension to appear as the advocate of a 
religion which no longer dared to deck itself in its own colours. 
" Protestantism," he wrote, " waxeth weary of itself. The pro- 
fessors of it, they especially of greatest worth, learning, and 
authority, love temper and moderation, and are at this time 
more unresolved where to fasten than at the infancy of their 
Church." Their doctrine, he added, was undergoing a change : 
they now denied that the Pope was Antichrist ; they had begun 
to pray for the dead, to use pictures, to adopt in many points 
the teaching of Rome. The articles were 'impatient, nay, 
ambitious, of some sense wherein they might seem Catholic.' 
Calvinism was 'accounted heresy and little less than treason.' 
The ' once fearful names of priests and altars ' were widely 
used, and men were bidden to expound Scripture according to 
the sense of the Fathers a practice which would evidently 
land them at the feet of the Pope, ' seeing that by the confes- 
sion of Protestants the Fathers were on the side of the Catholic 

No wonder such words as these were gleefully quoted by 
the Puritans. It was exactly what they had been reiterating for 
Charles tries y ears - No wonder, too, that Laud and Charles were 
to get Knott deeply annoyed at so unexpected an attack. Charles 
weakly allowed Wmdebank to apply to Con, asking 
him to express his displeasure to the audacious Jesuit. 2 As 

1 In addition to Chillingworth's quotation, De Maiseaux gives an 
account of Knott's work, of which he had seen a copy. 

2 Con to Barberini, 5^, Add. MSS. 15,389, fol. 384. 


might have been expected, Con expressed his inability tc do 
anything of the sort ; and Laud, with greater wisdom, turned 
his attention to hastening the appearance of Chillingworth's 
reply. 1 Towards the end of 1637, in the very heat of the 
excitement engendered by Lady Newport's conversion, The 
Religion of Protestants was issued to the world. 

In his main argument that ' nothing is necessary to be 
believed but what is plainly revealed ' 2 Chillingworth did little 
,6 37 . more than put in a clearer and more logical form, with 
* a ^ * ts excrescences stripped away, the contention 
tants. o f Laud in the conference with Fisher. That which 

marks the pre-eminence of the younger writer is his clear sense 
of the subordination of intellectual conviction to moral effort. 
If men, he says, ' suffer themselves neither to be betrayed into 
their errors, nor kept in them by any sin of their will ; if they 
do their best endeavour to free themselves from all errors, and 
yet fail of it through human frailty, so well am I persuaded of 
the goodness of God, that if in me alone should meet a conflu- 
ence of all such errors of all the Protestants of the world that 
were thus qualified, I should not be so much afraid of them all 
as I should be to ask pardon for them.' 3 

In these words, not in the counter-dogmatism of the Puritan 
zealot, lay the true answer to the claim to infallibility which was 
so ostentatiously flaunted before the world by the Roman mis- 
sionaries. It was the old doctrine of Sir Thomas More and 
the men of the new learning coming to the surface once more, 
under happier auspices. It breathed the very spirit of mutual 
regard for zeal and earnestness in the midst of intellectual 
differences. It became men, Chillingworth held, to be very 
careful how they set up the creatures of their own imaginations 
as if they were the veriest certainties of Divine revelation. 
" This presumptuous imposing of the senses of men upon the 
general words of God," he writes, "and laying them upon 
men's consciences together, under the equal penalty of death 
and damnation ; this vain conceit that we can speak of the 
things of God better than in the words of God ; this deifying 

1 Chillingworth's reasons, Sept. 19, S. P. Dom. ccclxvii. 116. 
* Works, i. 230. Ibid. i. 8 1. 


our own interpretations and tyrannous enforcing them upon 
others ; this restraining of the Word of God from that latitude 
and generality, and the understandings of men from that liberty 
wherein Christ and the Apostles left them- -is and hath been 
the only fountain of all the schisms of the Church, and that 
which makes them immortal ; the common incendiary of 
Christendom, and that which tears into pieces, not the coat, 
but the bowels and members of Christ. . . . Take away these 
walls of separation, and all will quickly be one. Take away 
this persecuting, burning, cursing, damning of men for not 
subscribing to the words of men as the words of God ; require 
of Christians only to believe Christ, and to call no man master, 
but Him only ; let those leave claiming infallibility that have 
no title to it, and let them that in their words disclaim it dis- 
claim it also in their actions." " Christians," he says again, 
" must be taught to set a higher value upon those high points 
of faith and obedience wherein they agree than upon those 
matters of less moment wherein they differ, and understand 
that agreement in those ought to be more effectual to join 
them in one communion than their difference in other things 
of less moment to divide them. When I say in one commu- 
nion, I mean in a common profession of those articles wherein 
all consent a joint worship of God, after such a way as all 
esteem lawful, and a mutual performance of all those works of 
charity which Christians owe one to another." l 

It is not given to any one man, even if he be a Chilling- 
worth, to make out with complete fulness the remedies needed 
Defects of for the evils of his age. Dogmatism, too, has its 
worth's 8 " functions to perform in the work of the world. The 
system. vam belief in the possession of all truth is higher and 
more ennobling than the disbelief that truth exists at all ; and 
it is impossible to deny that to the mass of Chillingworth's 
contemporaries the suspension of judgment, which was to him 
the ultimate result of a keen and earnest search after truth, 
would seem to be the very negation of the existence of truth 
itself. Even calmer judgments might well doubt whether 

1 Works, ii. 37. 


Chillingworth's notion of a 'joint worship of God after such a 
way as all esteem lawful ' was feasible, or whether, even if it 
proved feasible, it was at all desirable. Chillingworth's mind 
was too purely intellectual to enable him to understand how 
any given ritual could either raise admiration or provoke hos- 
tility. He cared much whether a proposition was true or not 
He had but a languid interest in forms of prayer. In his reply 
to Knott's last pamphlet he took up the defence of the recent 
changes. " What," he said, " if out of fear that too much sim- 
plicity and nakedness in the public service of God may beget 
in the ordinary sort of men a dull and stupid irreverence, and 
out of hope that the outward state and glory of it, being well- 
disposed and wisely moderated, may engender, quicken, 
increase, and nourish the inward reverence, respect, and devo- 
tion which is due unto God's sovereign majesty and power; 
what if, out of a persuasion and desire that Papists may be won 
over to us the sooner by the removing of this scandal out of 
their way, and out of a holy jealousy that the weaker sort of 
Protestants might be the easier seduced to them by the mag- 
nificence and pomp of their Church service, in case it were 
not removed I say, what if, out of these considerations, the 
governors of our Church, more of late than formerly, have set 
themselves to adorn and beautify the places where God's 
honour dwells, and to make them as heaven-like as they can 
with earthly ornaments ? " ] There is something contemptuous 
in such a defence as this. Above all, there is no acknowledg- 
ment by Chillingworth of the fact that moral influence may 
spread abroad from men who are very wrong-headed and very 
positive. The toleration which cheerfully grants free liberty 
to those who differ irreconcilably from us is the complement 
of the tolerance which seeks out by preference the points in 
which others agree with us rather than those in which they 
differ. The latter was Chillingworth's contribution to the 
peace of the Church and nation ; for the former we must look 
elsewhere. Yet, before we plunge into the strife out of which 
the better thought was to be evolved, we may well linger a 

1 Works, i. 23. 

1638 JOHN HALES. 265 

moment to contemplate the life of one whose nature was more 
i6 g complete, and whose personality was more altogether 
John Hales lovely, than that of the great controversialist. Rather 
than to Chillingworth, rather than to Falkland, the 
discerning eye is attracted to one who was in his own estima- 
tion less than either, but of whom those who knew him best 
loved to speak as the ever-memorable John Hales. 

The genial recluse, with his prodigious memory and his 
keen, rapier-like thrust of argument, was the most loving and 
tender-hearted of men. In his Eton fellowship he found him- 
self at home under the provostship of the large-minded Sir 
Henry Wotton. His views of life and religion were in the 
main identical with those of Chillingworth, but he approached 
the subject from the other side. In Chillingworth the logical 
faculty was supreme. In Hales it was at the service of a 
singularly gentle and affectionate heart Hence he began 
where Chillingworth left off. He did not argue himself into 
the belief that the intention to go wrong, and not the failure 
itself, was culpable. He rather made it the starting-point of 
his reasoning. " He would often say that he would renounce 
the religion of the Church of England to-morrow if it obliged 
him to believe that any other Christian should be damned, and 
that nobody would conclude another man to be damned that 
did not wish him so." 1 "Every Christian," he wrote, "may 
err that will ; for if we might not err wilfully, then there would 
be no heresy, heresy being nothing else but wilful error. For 
if we account mistakes befalling us through human frailties 
to be heresies, then it will follow that every man since the 
Apostles' times was an heretic." 2 Hence he could take but 
little interest in Chillingworth's search after fundamental 
truths. That men should err was, in his eyes, a necessity of 
their nature. The venerable names of the Fathers of the 
ancient Church, the imposing solemnity of ecclesiastical coun- 
cils, conferred no exemption from the universal law. " If 
truth and goodness," he wrote, " go by universality and mul- 
titude, what mean then the prophets and holy men of God 

1 Clarendon, Life, i. 54- 

2 On the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Works, i. 63. 


everywhere in the Scripture so frequently, so bitterly to com- 
plain of the small number of good men careful of God and 
truth ? Neither is the complaint proper to Scripture ; it is the 
common complaint of all that have left any records of antiquity 
behind them. Could wishing do any good, I could wish well 
to this kind of proof ; but it shall never go so well with man- 
kind that the most shall be the best. The best that I can say 
of argument and reason drawn from universality in multitude is 
this : such reason may perchance serve to excuse an error, but 
it can never serve to warrant a truth." 

Yet, for all this, the investigation of truth was the highest 
work of man. The words of the Apostle, " Be not deceived," 
The search were spoken not only to the wise and learned, but 
for truth. < to everyone, of whatever sex, of whatever rank or 
degree and place soever, from him that studies in his library to 
him that sweats at the plough-tail.' But the command is not 
obeyed by those who content themselves with storing their 
memories with opinions learned by rote. He that would not 
be deceived must not only know ' what it is that is commanded,' 
must not therefore take his duties on trust from a Church 
claiming to be infallible, or from a venerated preacher, but 
must also know ' wherefore that is, upon what authority, upon 
what reason.' l At last the new thought which was to form the 
modern world had reached its full and clear expression. 

Like Chilli ngworth, Hales too had his dream of Utopian 
harmony of worship. "Were liturgies and public forms of 
Public service so framed, "he argued, "as that they admitted 
worship. not O f particular and private fancies, but contained 
only such things as in which all Christians do agree, schisms in 
opinion were utterly vanished. For consider of all the liturgies 
that are or ever have beew, and remove from them whatsoever 
is scandalous to any party, and leave nothing but what all agree 
on, and the event shall be that the public service and honour 
of God shall no ways suffer ; whereas to load our public forms 
with the private fancies upon which we differ is the most sove- 
reign way to perpetuate schism unto the world's end. Prayer, 

1 Sermon on private judgment in religion. Works, iii. 141. 

1638 JOHN HALES. 267 

confession, thanksgiving, reading of Scripture, exposition of 
Scripture, administration of sacraments in the plainest and 
simplest manner, were matter enough to furnish out a sufficient 
liturgy, though nothing else of private opinion, or of church 
pomp, of garments, of prescribed gestures, of imagery, of music, 
of matter concerning the dead, of many superfluities which 
creep into churches under the name of order and decency, did 
interpose itself." ' 

The tract on schism in which these words occur was circu- 
lated in manuscript in the spring of 1638. No wonder that 
Hales sent when a copy fell into Laud's hands he sent for the 
for by Laud. aut h O r to Lambeth. Yet he could not but know 
that Hales, if not his ally, was at least the assailant of his 
enemies. A few years before, perhaps, he would have dealt 
harshly with him. He could not find it in his heart now to 
visit very severely a champion whose thrusts were directed against 
Puritan and Papist alike. The two men walked up and down 
the garden in friendly, if sometimes in warm, argument Laud 
breathed a word of caution. The time, said the Archbishop, 
was ' very apt to set new doctrines on foot, of which the wits of 
the age were too susceptible.' 2 ' There could not be too much 
care taken to preserve the peace and unity of the Church.' As 
Hales came away he met Heylyn, and fooled him to the top of 
his bent, 3 assuring him that the Archbishop had proved far 
superior in controversy, ferreting him ' from one hole to another 
till there was none left to afford him any further shelter ; that 
he was now resolved to be orthodox, and to declare himself a 
true son of the Church of England both for doctrine and dis- 
cipline.' 4 Hales, no doubt, was laughing in his sleeve at the 
pompous chaplain. Yet it must be remembered that it is not 
from men of Hales's stamp that vigorous self-assertion is to be 
expected. In writing to Laud he did not, it is true, retract any 
of his positive opinions, but he certainly explained away some 

1 Tract concerning schism, Works, i. 1 14. 
7 This is Clarendon's account. Life, i. 55. 

1 This is Principal Tulloch's explanation, and is, I have no doubt, the 
right one. 

4 Heylyn, Cyprianus Anglicus, 340. 


of his utterances. Laud was satisfied with his explanation, 
and in the following year he procured for him a canonry at 

Though in the days of conflict Falkland and Chillingworth 
and Hales would be found on Charles's side, in the long run the 
The influ- spirit which inspired them would be found a far more 
ence of Lad- powerful dissolvent of Laud's system than the Puri- 

tudmartan- . . ' 

jsmnot tanism which he dreaded. Its time was not yet 

immediate. , , . - , . .. . .... 

come. Two theories of the religious life were in 
presence of one another, and those theories were entwined with 
a whole mass of habits which could not readily be shaken off. 
The strife was approaching, and it was not till the combatants 
had measured their strength with one another that they would 
be ready to listen to the words of peace. Even when that time 
came the solution would not be altogether such as Hales would 
have approved. The religious conscience would demand a 
more definite creed, and a more definite ceremonial, than that 
for which he had asked. By the side of the idea of com- 
prehension would arise the idea of toleration. The one would 
soften down asperities, and teach the assured dogmatist to put 
on something of that humility in which the controversialist of 
all periods is so grievously deficient. The other would prepare 
room for the unchecked development of that individuality 
which is the foundation of all true vigour in churches and in 



THE ecclesiastical grievances were only felt by a part of the 
community. Financial burdens were felt by everyone who 
ig had property. In the summer of 1637 the outcry 

Political against ship-money had become general. 

No unprejudiced person can deny that the exist- 
ence of a powerful fleet was indispensable to the safety of the 
State, or that the amount of money demanded by 


met an Charles for the equipment of that fleet was no more 
' than the case required. The charge which has fre- 
quently been brought against him of spending the money thus 
levied on objects unconnected with its ostensible purpose is 
without a shadow of foundation ; and it is perfectly certain 
that, though the grant of tonnage and poundage had originally 
been made in order to provide the Crown with the means of 
guarding the seas, the expenses of government had so far in- 
creased that if tonnage and poundage were to be applied to 
that 'purpose on the scale that had now become necessary, the 
exchequer would soon be in a condition of bankruptcy. 

Even the most just and necessary taxation, however, is 

sometimes received with murmurs. If such murmurs are not 

to lead to actual resistance, it is incumbent on those 

but was im- 

posed.with- w h o impose the tax to explain to the tax-payer the 

out t e con- ... r -. , *. ' ., 

sent of \he necessity under which they are placed, and 11 possible 

to find some way of obtaining his consent It was 

the very -thing that -Charles had not dared to do. He well 

knew that to summon a Parliament would be to endanger the 


success of his ecclesiastical policy, and he had no mind to run 
the risk. 

The fleet obtained by the levy of ship-money had done 
nothing sufficiently striking to make men forget the faults of 
Services of ^ s origin. The maintenance of trade with Dunkirk, 
the fleet. m ^g f ace o f threats of a Dutch or French attack 
upon that nest of privateers, interested only a few traders in 
London or Dover ; whilst the exploits of the King's ships 
amongst the Dutch fishermen 1 in the summer of 1637 would, 
if the truth had been known, have awakened scorn rather than 
admiration. If a less inglorious success was achieved in the 
same summer by a squadron of six vessels under Captain Rains- 
borough at Sallee, it was due to other causes than 
tion fa**' the skill of the commander or the efficiency of the 
armament. Rainsborough was sent to deliver from 
slavery the European captives of the Barbary pirates, but his 
efforts to overcome their stronghold by attack or blockade 
were entirely ineffectual. Luckily, however, a civil war broke 
out amongst the Moors, and the King of Morocco purchased 
the neutrality of the English fleet by the surrender of 271 
prisoners. 2 

Yet it was not because ship-money was badly spent that 
the impost was assailed in England. Voices were raised on 

every side declaring it to be utterly illegal. Ship- 
Ship-money . i ji j i j j 11 
attacked as money, it was loudly declared, was undeniably a tax, 

and the ancient customs of the realm, recently em- 
bodied in the Petition of Right, had announced, with no doubt- 
ful voice, that no tax could be levied without consent of Parlia- 
ment. Even this objection was not the full mea- 
tutionai ob- sure of the evil. If Charles could take this money 
without consent of Parliament, he need not, unless 
some unforeseen emergency arose, ever summon a parliament 

1 See page 220. 

2 Brissenden to Nicholas, Sept. 21. Rainsborough's journal, S. P. 
Dom, ccclxviii. 6, ccclxix. 72 ; Carteret to Coke, Sept. 21. List of 
prisoners released. S. P. Morocco. Garrard's statement (Strafford Letters, 
ii. 1 1 8) that Rainsborough ' put the new town of Sallee into the King of 
Morocco's hands ' is exaggerated. 


again. The true question at issue was whether Parliament 
formed an integral part of the Constitution or not 

A charge has sometimes been brought against the English- 
men of that day that they concerned themselves overmuch with 
legality and precedent. Undoubtedly they loved to 

Attachment , ,, . - t i 1-11 

of the nation dwell upon the antiquity 01 the rights which they 
5 legality. c i a j mec L Antiquaries like Selden or Twysden ex- 
pressed the tendencies of their age as truly as thinkers like 
Voltaire and Rousseau expressed the tendencies of theirs. 
The legality which they cherished was the legality of a nation 
which had hitherto preserved unbroken the traditions of self- 
government. Spoken or unspoken, beneath all the technicali- 
ties of the lawyers, beneath all the records of the antiquaries, 
.here remained an undertone of reliance upon the nation itself. 
Parliaments had been established to gather into a focus the 
national resolve. Kings had been established to give prompt 
efficacy to the resolve which had been formed. It was a new 
thing that a king should treat the policy and religion of the 
nation as if they concerned himself alone ; but the men who 
opposed it because it was new, opposed it still more because it 
was degrading. 

Charles fancied that the question of the legality of ship- 
money had been settled for ever in his favour by the declara- 
The question ti n of the judges. 1 Lord Saye and John Hampden 
mon h e'ytobe thought otherwise. They resolved that, whatever 
argued. th e result might be, the argument against ship-money 
should be heard in open court, and Charles was too confident 
of the justice of his cause to offer any opposition. 

For some unknown reason perhaps because his case was 
more simple than that of Saye Hampden's refusal was selected 
Difficulties to test tne opinion of the judges. His case was to 
in the way. b e argued in the Exchequer Chamber. The counsel 
employed by him were St. John and Holborne, lawyers con- 
nected wii-h the Earl of Bedford. They would have to argue 
with the full knowledge that the court was against them, 
and they would have therefore to put forward jusc that side of 
the argument which would not call down the violent censure 
1 See page 208. 


of the judges. It would be far easier to show that Charles was 
politically in the wrong than to show that he was legally in the 
wrong ; but they were bound by their position to urge legal 
.objections, only indirectly touching upon the political objections, 
if they touched on them at all. They knew that the judges 
had acknowledged the King to be the sole judge of danger 
from abroad, and they therefore could not venture to question 
a maxim adopted on such authority. 

St. John accordingly began by making a great concession. 
He abandoned any attempt to draw a distinction between 

the levy of ship-money in the inland counties and its 
St. John's levy in the maritime counties. He acknowledged, 

too, that the King was the sole judge of the existence 
of danger. The law, he said, had given the King power, 'by 
writ under the Great Seal of England, to command the inhabi- 
tants of each county to provide shipping for the defence of the 
kingdom, so that he might by law compel the doing thereof.' 
The only question was in what manner he was to exercise this 
power. St. John answered his own question by arguing that 
.as the King could not set fines nor deliver judgment except 
through the judges, so he could not raise money beyond his 
ordinary revenue except by Parliament. He showed that there 
-were special reasons for this restriction. A representative 
: assembly was likely to be a jealous guardian of the property of 
its constituents. The King was under no such bonds. If he 
xould lay what charge he pleased on his subjects 'it would 
come to pass that, if the subject hath anything at all, he is not 
beholden to the law for it, but it is left entirely in the mercy and 
goodness of the King.' 

; The remainder of St. John's argument may profitably be 
stripped of its technicalities. It is a good thing, he said in 
effect, that there should be some one to keep an eye on the 
possibility of danger. It is also a good thing that property 
should be guarded against unnecessary claims. It was, there- 
fore, well that the King, when he had discovered the danger, 
should, under ordinary circumstances, be compelled to apply 
.to Parliament for the taxation needed to meet it. It might be, 
indeed, that the danger developed so rapidly that time for an 


application to Parliament was wanting. In that case the rights 
of property would be simply in abeyance. If a French or a 
Spanish army landed unexpectedly in Kent or Devonshire, no 
one would blame the Government because it seized horses 
from a gentleman's stable to drag artillery, or ordered its troops 
to charge across a farmer's cornfields. It was a matter of 
notoriety, however, that in the present case no such danger had 
occurred. Writs had been issued in August for the purpose of 
equipping a fleet which was not needed till March. What pos- 
sible reason could be alleged why Parliament had not been 
summoned in the course of those seven months, to grant a 
subsidy in the regular way ? 

A reason no doubt there was, to which St. John did not 
venture even to allude, but which his hearers were not likely 
to forget A Parliament, once summoned, would be certain 
to discuss other matters besides ship-money, and would most 
probably demand an entire reversal of the civil and ecclesias- 
tical policy of the reign. 

St. John supported his arguments by the usual store of 
antiquarian learning. He was able to show that the kings of 
England had frequently paid for services done in defence of 
the realm, even when they had been forced to borrow money 
to enable them to do so. Surely, he urged, no king would have 
done this if he had been aware that he might legally impose 
the burden on his subjects. 

When St. John sat down he found himself famous. The 
crowded audience drank in every word that he said, listening as 
men would listen who believed their property and their rights 
to be at stake. 

As Solicitor-General, Lyttelton undertook to reply. It 
would have been strange if he had failed to find cases in which 
English kings had occasionally taken money irregu- 
Lytteiton's larly. The struggle between Crown and Parliament 
argument. j^ fo een a con flj c t of strength as well as a conflict 
of principle, and an advocate of the Government might easily 
go astray by quoting acts of aggression as if they had embodied 
the very spirit of the law. When Lyttelton ascended from 
precedent to principle, the weakness of his case must have been 



manifest even to those who knew little of constitutional law. 
He acknowledged that the King had no right to impose ship- 
money, excepting in time of danger, and he made the most of 
the argument that the rights of property were not weakened by 
taking what was needed for the defence of property itself. All 
laws must give way to the law of necessity, and in times of ne- 
cessity it was impossible to appeal to Parliament. Forty days 
must elapse after the issue of the writs before Parliament could 
meet, and then would follow long debates and conferences be- 
tween the Houses. Before an agreement could be arrived at 
the kingdom would be lost. 

Lyttelton's argument would have been an excellent one if it 
had had the slightest relation to the actual circumstances of the 
case. Even supposing that the seven months which passed 
between the issue of the writ and the assemblage of the fleet 
had been insufficient to enable Parliament to come to a deci- 
sion on that year's supply, no such excuse could be pleaded on 
behalf of an exaction which was now being renewed for a fourth 
annual period. Evidently the danger was considered at Court 
to be a permanent one, and to a permanent danger Lyttelton's 
reasoning had no application whatever. 

Holborne in a few words blew down the house of cards 

which had been erected by the Solicitor-General. The writ, 

he said, did not mention the existence of imminent 

Dec. 2. 

Hoibornes danger. Then, rising to the occasion, he argued, 
argument. am ^ t interruptions from the Bench, 'that by the 
fundamental laws of England the King cannot, out of Parlia- 
ment, charge the subject no, not for the common good unless 
in special cases.' Not only could not the King do it ' for the 
guard of the sea against pirates, but he could not even do it for 
the ordinary defence of the kingdom unavoidably in danger 
to be lost.' Then, going farther than St John had ventured to 
go, he refused to acknowledge that the King was the proper 
judge of danger, except when that danger was so closely im- 
pending that it was impossible to consult Parliament at all. 

The great constitutional issue was raised more distinctly 
by Holbonne than by St. John. For him Parliament, not the 
King, was the main organ of the sovereignty of the nation over 


itself. Bankes, the Attorney-General, refused to meet him 
Dec i6 on that ground. The court, he argued, had no 
Argument of right to inquire under what circumstances the King 
Ban es. could exercise his judgment. It was enough to know 
that it had been exercised. His power of forming the ne- 
cessary decision was ' innate in the person of an absolute king 
and in the persons of the Kings of England ; so inherent in 
the king that it is not any ways derived from the people, but 
reserved to the king when positive laws first began.' 

In the course of his three days' argument Bankes had pro- 
duced many precedents, in which the obligation of the subject 
to defend the realm in person, by land or sea, was 
Dec. 18. o f ten confused with the special obligation of dwellers 
on the coast to provide ships for its defence. Nor did he omit 
to quote a few cases in which in older times the inhabitants 
of inland counties had been compelled to find money cr the 
provision of ships. He was, however, totally unable to show 
anything like a general contribution enforced from year to year. 
In the end he repeated his declaration that the King 
:>ec ' 19 ' was an absolute monarch and the sole judge of 
danger. To ' distrust that he will command too great a power 
or aid, it is a presumption against the presumption of the law.' 

" My Lords," he said in conclusion, " if there were no law 
to compel unto this duty, yet nature and the inviolate law of 
preservation ought to move us. These vapours which are ex- 
haled from us will again descend upon us in our safety and in 
the honour of our nation ; and therefore let us obey the King s 
command by his writ, and not dispute. He is the first mover 
among these orbs of ours, and he is the circle of tnis circum- 
ference, and he is the centre of us all, wherein we all as the 
loins should meet. He is the soul of this body, whose proper 
act is to command." 

Bankes thus supplied whatever defects there might be in 

Holborne's argument. When he sat down it must have been 

abundantly clear to all who were present that if his 

Importance . , , t 

of Bankers view was accepted as the true one, the eld Parlia- 
mentary constitution of England was at an end In 
that case, as they had already learned from St John, no man 

T 2 


could hold his property except on sufferance. Those who cared 
less for pelf, and more for the old constitutional inheritance of 
their race, learned from the glib utterance of a lawyer's tongue 
that the system under which they fondly believed that long 
generations of their ancestors had lived and died had never had 
any real existence. The assemblies of early times before the 
Conquest, the Great Councils of Norman kings, the Parliaments 
of the Plantagenets were, it would seem, merely ornamental 
appendages to the substantial edifice of the monarchy. No 
doubt the King still professed his intention of ruling according 
to the law. No doubt the Great Charter, the confirmation of 
the Charters, and the recent Petition of Right would still be 
quoted and wrangled over in Westminster Hall, but their 
living force would be gone. The representative monarchy of 
Henry VIII. and Elizabeth would cease to be, as completely 
as the Parliamentary monarchy of the House of Lancaster 
would cease to be. In its stead was to be raised the authority 
of a king ruling in accordance with his own inscrutable counsels, 
whilst the English people was to wait patiently for the decision 
of its master. His was the wisdom which foresees everything 
and arranges everything, which no contingency could take by- 
surprise and no calamity find without resource. Theirs was the 
ignorance of a herd of cattle contentedly grazing in the fat 
pastures prepared for them till their owner thought good to 
send them forth to the slaughter-house of war. 

It is certain that, whether Charles was or was not pos- 
sessed of the profound wisdom needed to make good the 
Conditions claim advanced in his name, no time could be con- 
"he d daira to* ce i v d more unfitted for its general acceptance. So 
absolute f ar as the King's advocates demanded that compli- 

power was ' 

made. cated affairs should be entrusted to the decision of 

the few rather than of the many, they merely asked what was 
in accordance with the necessities of human nature ; but they 
loft out of sight the fact that it is equally in accordance with 
those necessities that the decision of the few should be openly 
or tacitly submitted to the approval of the many. At the 
moment, too, the very success attained by Charles's fleet made 
the mystery in which he veiled his resolutions more unin- 


telligible. When a great crisis arrives in the national fortunes, 
: when an invasion by a foreign Power is impending and the 
means of resistance are scanty, it is far more important that the 
plans for meeting the danger should proceed from one brain, 
and that the forces of resistance should be concentrated in one 
hand, than that there should be a public Parliamentary discus- 
sion on the proper tactics to be pursued. Nothing of the kind 
was impending now. When Richelieu determined to keep his 
new fleet out of the English Channel,, he struck a decisive 
stroke, though he knew it not, on behalf of the Parliamentary 
liberties of England. If a combined French and Dutch fleet 
had attacked Dunkirk, and had threatened English commerce 
on the English coasts, all the patriotism in England would have 
Deen loud in demanding that the powers of Government should 
be increased, though it is quite possible that an effort would also 
have been made to substitute a thoughtful and able Govern- 
ment for one which had proved itself shiftless and inefficient. As 
it was, there was no reason whatever that special powers should 
be conceded where no special reasons existed for their exercise. 
The decision of the judges remained to be heard. As only 
two were to deliver their opinion on the same day^ and as, in 
consequence of the claims of other business, a cbnsi- 
The opinion derable delay would intervene between the utterances 
>fthejudges. Q ^ ^^ ^^ Q ^ gp^]^^ some months must elapse 

before the judgment of the whole Bench could be known. 

It was not likely that the judges would break away from 
their declaration of the preceding winter. On some of them 
no doubt the dependent position to which they had been 
reduced by Charles may have been not without its influence j 
but it must not be forgotten that the question itself was rather 
one for political than for judicial settlement. Hampden and 
his supporters were only careful to establish a negative. They 
saw clearly that the right assumed by the King was fatal to the 
Parliamentary constitution of England. The judges might well 
ask what was the alternative proposed. Was a House of Com- 
mons, as yet unguided by any cabinet and undisciplined by 
any party lies, to be expected to meet with wise forethought alf 
the exigencies of foreign affairs ? What was really wanted, if 


there was not to be a political revolution, was that the 
should not only exercise his discretion, but should really be 
discreet, should only use extraordinary powers in extraordinary 
circumstances, and should withhold his confidence from the 
nation no further than it might be in the interest of the nation 
that secrecy should be maintained for a time. Unfortunately, 
such a consummation was beyond the power of any judicial 
decision to effect 

Something of this difficulty seems to have been felt by 
Baron Weston, who delivered judgment first He believed 
judgment of tnat tne King had decided rightly in fitting out the 
Weston ; fleet If, indeed, it had been done by Parliament, it 
had been done by the happiest means. But he could not lay 
down the law that it must always be done by Parliament. If 
the enemy had come ' before the Parliament had met, or before 
they had granted any aid, should the safety of the kingdom 
depend upon such contingencies ? ' 

This reluctance to acknowledge the existence of a general 

prohibitory law was the strongest ground on which the King's 

supporters could rely. It was not likely that all of 

ofCrawley _, , , , . , ,,. 

and Ber- Weston s brethren would be content to give so half- 
hearted a support to the Crown. Crawley, who 
followed, declared that it was a royal prerogative ' to impose 
taxes without common consent of Parliament.' Berkeley went 
further still. He fixed upon Holborne's argument that, by the 
fundamental policy of the realm, sovereigns who wished to exact 
money at their pleasure ought to be restrained by Parliament 
"The law," he said, "knows no such king-yoking policy. The 
law is of itself an old and trusty servant of the King's ; it is his 
instrument and means which he useth to govern his people by. 
I never read nor heard that Lex was Rex, but it is common 
and most true that Rex is Lex, for he is Lex loquens, a living, 
a speaking, an acting law." 

Vernon and Trevor followed on the same side. It was not 

till five of the judges had declared for the King that 

Trevoand one was found to take part with the defendant. Sir 

George Croke is said to have hesitated what he should 

say, but to have been encouraged by his wife to speak his 


mind without fear of consequences. The tale has no sufficient 
evidence to support it, and he was hardly the man to need 
such an exhortation. However this may have been, he spoke 
distinctly and emphatically. It was utterly contrary to law, he 
said, to set any charge whatever upon the subject except in 
Parliament. Even under this condition the King could not 
possibly find any difficulty in providing for the defence of the 
realm. He had power to press into his service . every single 
man and every single ship in England. ' The imagination of 
man,' he said, 'could not invent a danger, but course might be 
taken till Parliament be had.' No example of such a writ as 
that before the Court could be produced from the whole course 
of English history. 

Of the remaining judges, Hutton followed decisively in 

Croke's steps. Denham who was ill, gave a brief judgment in 

Hampden's favour, and Bramston and Davenport 

judges for placed themselves, for technical reasons, on the same 

wn " side. Jones and Finch pronounced for the King. 

Charles could count as his own but seven voices out of twelve, 

giving him the smallest of all possible majorities. 

Of all the arguments delivered on the side of the Crown 

none created so profound an impression as that of Finch. It 

had at least the merit of plain speaking, and the 

Finch's con- .... 

stimtionai spontaneity of its tone is such as to raise a suspicion 
that the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, over- 
bearing and brutal as he could be upon occasion, was not the 
mere time-server that he is generally reckoned. Finch held, 
as all reasonable politicians now hold, that in every State some 
man or body of men must exist above all human control, and 
that though this supreme authority may be wisely subjected to 
checks and hindrances, it must be able in case of supreme neces- 
sity to brush aside those checks and hindrances without appeal. 
This power, which is now attributed to the constituencies, was 
by Finch attributed to the King. The law, he said, having 
given to the King the duty of defending the country, had of 
necessity given him the right of laying the charge which would 
enable him to fulfil the duty imposed upon him. " Acts of 
Parliament," he boldly added, "to take away his Royal power in 


the defence of his kingdom are void . . . They are void Acts 
of Parliament to bind the King not to command the subjects, 
their persons and goods, and I say their money too, for no 
Acts of Parliament make any difference." 1 

This was at least plain speaking. After this, what was the 

use of going back to those ancient laws which were fondly re- 

garded as the bulwarks of English liberty ? Precedent 

Effect of . 111 mi 

Finch's and statute had been quoted in vain. There was, it 
seemed, a transcendent authority in the King which 
neither law nor Parliament could fetter. No wonder men took 
alarm at so portentous a doctrine, and that those who claimed 
sovereignty for the law and those who claimed sovereignty for 
Parliaments were equally roused to indignation. " Undoubt- 
edly," wrote Clarendon long afterwards, "my Lord Finch's 
speech made ship-money much more abhorred and formidable 
than all the commandments by the Council table and all the 
distresses taken by the sheriffs of England." 2 It did more 
than that. It taught men to know, beyond all possibility of 
mistake, that the reign of Parliament and the reign of law were 
indissolubly connected, and that the fond idea of an unparlia- 
mentary government acting under legal restraint must be cast 
aside for ever. 

The speeches of the popular lawyers, and the judgments of 
the popular judges, were circulated from hand to hand. A 
settled conviction took possession of Englishmen that, if the 
majority of the judges was against them, the weight of argu- 
ment was on their side. Never had the authority of Charles 
sunk so low as after the victory which he counted himself to 
have won. 

Charles acted as if doubt was no longer possible. The 
voice of the judges, when it spoke in his own favour, was to 
him as the voice of the law itself. Sharp orders were 
at once issued for the immediate collection of the 

te ' arrears. Sheriffs were to bring in the money on pain 
of a summons before the Council. Constables refusing to assess, 
magistrates of towns refusing to collect, and men of standing 

1 State Trials, iii. 825. J Clarendon, i. 71. 


refusing to pay were to be treated in the same manner. This 
pressure was not exerted entirely in vain. Even the sturdy 
Richard Chambers, who had refused to pay ship-money as he 
had refused to pay tonnage and poundage before, was liberated 
from prison upon payment of the io/. charged upon him, though 
he consoled himself by bringing an action against the Lord 
Mayor, who had assessed it, upon the ground of some technical 
informality. 1 At the end of July, 78,ooo/. was still in arrear. 
Though by the end of October, 3o,ooo/. of this sum had been 
paid in, the arrears still unpaid were twice as large as those re- 
maining at the end of October i637. 3 If these, however, could 
be recovered there was no reason to despair of the exchequer. 
Never since the accession of the Stuart dynasty had the finances 
been in so flourishing a condition as in the spring of 1638. 
The great customs, which had for some years been farmed for 
i5o,ooo/., were let afresh for 165, ooo/. 3 The new burdens laid 
since Portland's death were beginning to tell, and with ordinary 
prudence the King would be certain to secure himself against a 
deficit, unless, indeed, he contrived to entangle himself in war. 
The great case of ship-money was peculiarly adapted to 
bring into a focus all the political dissatisfaction which existed 
in England. The incidence of the tax was felt by all 

Other griev- . , ... ; . . 

ances besides but the very poorest, and the question at issue, with 
>ney< its wide and far-reaching consequences, was capable 
of being summed up in a few terse words which would fix 
themselves in the dullest understanding. As was, however, to 
be expected, the grievance of ship-money did not stand alone* 
Complaints were heard of other mischiefs inflicted for the most 
part on special classes or special localities, each of them sepa- 
rately of less importance than that caused by the ship-money, 
but which, taken together, were sufficient to excite a consider- 
able amount of irritation. 

1 Rossingham's News- Letter, June 16, 1640, S. P. Dem. cccclvii. 36. 

2 Council Register, June 30, July 15. Russell's account, Oct. 27, 
1637, July 28, Oct. 27, 1638, .5". P. Dom. ccclxx. 57, cccxlv. 93, 9S,cccc, 
114, 115. 

3 Indenture, March 17, 1638, Patent Rolls, 13 Charles I., Part 41, 
No. i. 


Of these the foremost was the complaint of the action of 
the Forest Courts, the unwonted activity of which had been in 
The Forest operation ever since 1634. In the course of three years 
Couru. Holland, as Chief Justice in Eyre, had held his justice- 
seat in the Forest of Dean, in Waltham Forest, and in the 
!6 37 . New Forest. 1 In 1637 the turn of the Forest of 
September. Rockingham arrived. The fines set by Holland 
Rockingham were enormous. The Earl of Salisbury was called on 
to pay 2o,ooo/., the Earl of Westmoreland i9,ooo/., 
Sir Christopher Hatton i2,ooo/. The bounds of the forest had 
been reckoned as measuring six miles in circumference. They 
were now to measure sixty. 2 As usually happened, the fines 
Nov actually levied were far less than those originally set. 
The forest In November commissioners were named to com- 
pound with all persons guilty of offences against 
forest law. 3 After the commission had been in action two 
years and a half, only 23,0007. had been brought by it into the 
exchequer from all the forests in England. 4 The sum paid 
was indeed small enough when compared with that originally 
demanded, but it was large enough to cause considerable dis- 
content in the minds of those who believed themselves to be 
buying off, on compulsion, a purely imaginary claim. 

No public object was aimed at by Charles in these exactions. 
In the institution of new corporations with exclusive rights of 
Corporate manufacture, or of sale, he, or those who acted in 
monopolies. hj s nam e, were doubtless guided to a large extent by 
considerations of public benefit. The Monopoly Act of 1624 
had been the result partly of the jealousy aroused amongst 
traders, who saw the profits of trade going into the hands of 
courtiers, and partly of the pressure felt in consequence of the 
violation of economic laws by those who could give no account 
of the true cause of the mischief. Not only had that Act left 
untouched the general power of the Crown to institute corpora- 
tions with the right of monopoly, but it had not been accom- 

1 See vol. vii. 362, 365 ; viii. 77, 86. * 

2 Garrard to Wentworth, Oct. 9, Strafford Lettt rs, ii. 114. 

1 Commission, Nov. 4, Patent Rolls, 13 Charles I., Part 14, Dors. 6, 
4 Breviates of the receipt. 


panied, as the Free -Trade measures of our own time were 
accompanied, by any intellectual enlargement of the traditional 
sphere of thought upon the subject. The Privy Council of 
Charles, therefore, not only believed itself to be empowered 
by law to establish new corporations with the sole right of 
trade, but shared the feelings of a generation which regulated 
trade in every possible way. Justices of the peace had long 
counted it to be a part of their business to settle the rate of 
wages and to keep down the price of food. Inhabitants of 
towns petitioning for the erection of a municipal corporation 
were in the habit of ascribing all the vice and misery of over- 
populated districts to the ' want of governance ' which allowed 
each man to come and go, to manufacture or not to manufac- 
ture, as he pleased. l It is impossible for any candid person to 
read the numerous entries on the subject of trade which crowd 
the Register of the Privy Council without coming to the con- 
clusion that they were the work of men desirous, perhaps, 
here and there to obtain a little fragmentary relief for the 
impoverished exchequer, but who were also desirous to have 
honest work done at low prices, and who conspicuously failed 
in the attempt. 

In 1636, for instance, a Corporation of Brickmakers was 
established for the benefit of the builders of London. These 
men were to make good bricks at the rate of six shillings the 

thousand. At the end of three years it was disco- 


The brick- vered that they made very bad bricks indeed, and 
that, though they sold them at the stipulated price, 
they kept the carriage of them in their own hands and charged 
exorbitantly for it. 2 

Still more difficult was the task of bringing the London coal 
supply to an ideal standard. The owners of the coal ships 
The coal were formed into a corporation, and bound them- 
shippers. selves to pay one shilling to the King on every 
chaldron imported from Newcastle. They also bound them- 
selves never to chaige more than seventeen shillings the 

' Several petitions state this in the Petition Books at Crowcombe Court. 
5 Patent A'ottf, 13 Charles I., Part 7, No. 5. Council Register, April 24, 


chaldron in summer and nineteen shillings in winter. Yet, 
strict as were the rules laid down, the coal-shippers gave end- 
less trouble to the Government. Again and again there was a 
scarcity in the London market, and prices rose in defiance of 
the Privy Council. Sometimes blame was attributed to a com- 
bination amongst the shippers to delay their vessels on the way 
from the North, in order to create an unusual demand, under 
the pressure of which they might run up prices in defiance of 
their agreement ; sometimes to improper regulations imposed 
in the London market ; sometimes to the greed of the retailers. 
Yet, in spite of the reasoning and the activity of the Council, it 
was only at rare intervals that coals were not above the regula- 
lation price in London. 1 

The Corporation of Soapmakers, which had caused such 
excitement in 1635, 2 underwent a complete change in 1637. 

With Tuxon as Treasurer, Laud at last had his way. 

1637. J . J 

The soap- The company formed of Portland's friends disap- 
peared. The old independent soapmakers were 
erected into a corporation, buying out their predecessors with 
43,ooo/., and agreeing to pay to the King 81. on every ton of 
soap manufactured by them. The very men who had raised 
the outcry against the search for illicit soap now made exactly 
the same use of their monopoly as that of which they had 
themselves complained. They constantly applied to the 
Council to assist them in the suppression of unauthorised 
manufactures, and the Council seldom failed to comply with 
their request. 3 

The original object of the incorporation of the Soap Com- 
pany had been the encouragement of domestic industry. With 

j6 35- the same object a company was formed at Shields for 
Salt works, the production of salt All port towns from Berwick 
to Southampton were ordered to provide themselves with this 
salt alone, in place of that which came from the shores of the 

1 The State Papers and the Council Register are full of this business. 

2 See p. 71. 

" Agreement, July 3, 1637, Patent Rolls, 13 Charles I., Part 39, 
No. 10. There are also frequent entries relating to the subject in the 
Council Register. 


Bay of Biscay, and which was at that time regarded as the best 
salt in the world. The company was to pay to the King ten 
shillings on every wey sold for home consumption, and three 
shillings and fourpence on every wey of that coarser sort which 
was used by fishermen. 1 Complaints were soon 
heard. The owners of the Yarmouth fishing-boats 
declared that they could not obtain salt in sufficient quantity, 
and that what they did receive was not so good as the old bay 
salt had been. 2 The King had a plan of his own to meet the 
difficulty. A certain Nicholas Murford had invented a new 
method of making salt, and had obtained leave to establish 
his works in the neighbourhood of Yarmouth, with special per- 
mission to sell his salt in spite of the monopoly of the Shields 
manufacturers. An influential company was formed to carry- 
out Murford's project. The King interested himself 
so deeply in the affair that he granted lands to the 
new company. As, however, these lands turned out to be the 
property of others, he was compelled to retract his gift. 3 

The King's claim to levy impositions on soap and salt may 
have received a sort of justification as a mere demand for an 
equivalent for the loss of his customs caused by the prohibition 
of importation. Other interferences with domestic trade re- 
posed simply on the ground that it was the King's business 
to see that his subjects were provided with articles of good 
quality, though even in these cases he did not disdain to 
Starch- make a profit for himself. The Company of Starch- 
makers, makers was to take care that good wheaten flour was 
not wasted in their unprofitable manufacture. In order that 
Maitstersand grain might not be misused in brewing beer unneces- 
brewers. sarily strong, all persons except a certain number of 
licensed maltsters and brewers were prohibited from making 

1 Indenture, Nov. 4, 1635, Patent Rolls, II Charles I., Part 26, No. 4. 

* Bailiffs of Great Yarmouth to the Council, Nov. 13 1636, S. P. 
Dom. cccxxxv. 51. 

3 Grant to Murford and Hanworth, May 25, 1636, Patent Rolls, 12 
Charles I., Part 7, No. 6. The King to Went worth and others, Jan. iS. 
Wentworth's petition, Feb. 22, 1637. Murford to Sherwood, 1637 (?), 
S. P, Dom, cccxliv. 35, cccxlvii. 80, ccclxxvii. 84. 


malt and brewing beer. This last prohibition caused such an 
outcry that even Charles gave way before it and threw open the 
trade once more. 1 

For these encroachments some reason, however unsatisfac- 
tory, could, in every case, be alleged. For Charles's interfer- 
ence w ^ ^ e wme tra de no reason whatever could 

The vint- 

ners. be produced. As early as in 1632 a demand 

l632 ' was made upon the Vintners in London for a pre- 

mium of 4/. per tun. Upon their refusal, it was discovered 

j6 that they were in the habit of dressing meat for 

sale to their customers, a mode of obtaining money 

which was not authorised by their charter. A de- 
1635. * 

cree of the Star Chamber put a stop to the practice. 

At the Council-board the Vintners were urged to be wise in 
time. " It is folly in travellers," said Dorset, " to deny their 
purses to robbers upon the way, and to draw harm upon 
themselves thereby, when they have no sufficient force either 
to defend their purses or their own persons." A proposal was 
then made that if the Vintners would lend the King 6,ooo/., 
the prohibition should be relaxed for some months, and that 
they should then be secured from further molestation. They 
paid the money, but the promised security was not forthcoming. 
They complained to the Council, but met with no redress. 
" Will you not be satisfied," said Arundel, "with the word of a 
king ? " Upon this they imagined that they would be allowed 
to dress meat, as they had hitherto done. They were at once 
called in question. The Attorney-General offered to overlook 
the offence for the future if they would pay the King a penny 
on every quart of wine sold. On their refusal they were again 
prosecuted in the Star Chamber for dressing meat 
When the cause was ready for sentence, Alderman 
Abell, the Master of the Vintners' Company, came to a bargain 
with the King through the interposition of the Mar- 
quis of Hamilton. To Hamilton had been granted 
the fines which were recoverable in the Star Chamber from 

1 Proclamation, July 9, 1637, June 18, 1638; Kymfr, xx. 157, 234. 
Appointment of Brewers for Essex, Feb. 28, 1638, Patent Rolls, 13 
Charles!., Part 18, No. 6. 


the offenders in the matter of dressing meat. He now explained 
to the Vintners that he had no wish to ruin so many honest 
men, and that it would be far better for them to comply with 
the King's wish. His arguments were warmly supported by 
Abell, and by Overt, the wretch who had been the main agent 
in the ruin of Williams, and who was now currying favour at 
Court by providing for the increase of the revenue at the 
expense first of the Vintners and ultimately of the consumers 
of wine. Before this pressure the unfortunate Company gave 
way. They agreed to all that was asked. They were to be 
permitted to dress meat and sell beer, and to charge an addi- 
tional penny on every quart of wine sold. In return they were 
to grant to the King a payment of 2o/. on every tun, or, as was 
subsequently settled, a rent of 3o,ooo/. a year. 1 All the vint- 
ners in England were compelled by the Council to conform to 
the arrangements made with the London Company. Hamilton 
obtained 4,ooo/. a year from the rent, and i,5oo/. a year more 
was assigned to two members of his family. No doubt Kilvert 
had his profit too. 2 Thus the great body of consumers of wine 
suffered in order that the King and the courtiers might increase 
their profits. 

It is not always by the most hurtful actions that 


The growth the greatest discredit is gained. In our eyes nothing 
>f London. cou \ft j-^ so i n j ur j ous a s any attempt to limit the 

size of London by prohibiting the erection of new houses. 

1 Rush-worthy iii. 277. Council Register, March 2, 1635. Garrard to 
Wentworth, Jan. 8, 1636. Strafford Letters, i 507. Indenture, Sept. 7, 
1638, Patent Rolls, 14 Charles I., Part 18, No. 2. This is no doubt the 
indenture assigned by Rushworth to 1634. See also The Vintners' Answer 
to some Scandalous Pamphlets, 1642. (E. 140.) "Those of the better 
sort which did give their counsel," says the writer of this pamphlet (p. 7), 
"did it not with any true liking to the project, but merely to avoid ruin in 
the Star Chamber. For the shipwreck of the soap-boilers and others was 
then fresh in view ; and that Court had then gotten them the same repute 
as a Timariot's horse has in Turkey, where they say no grass ever grows 
after the impression of his fatal hoof." The early form of this saying, 
which is still current, with a slight change, is curious. 

Kilvert's remonstrance, Harl. MSS. 1,219, fol. 3. Grants to Hamil- 
ton and others, Patent AV//J, 14 Charles I., Part 9, Nos. 25, 31, 32. 


England was growing in prosperity and wealth, and the effects 
01 prosperity were felt in the increase of the population of ttie 
capital. In the early part of the reign houses began to spring 
up for the accommodation of the new comers, and a new and 
fashionable quarter arose in the neighbourhood of Drury Lane. 
To provide the requirements necessary for the maintenance of 
health would have taken some trouble and some thought. It was 
easier to say that no houses should be built than to regulate 
the mode in which they were to be erected. At first, indeed, 
the anxiety to restrain the increase of buildings gave way before 
the desire to fill the exchequer, and fines were readily accepted 
in the place of the demolition of houses. When at last a 
serious effort was made to check the supposed evil, the initiative 

o did not proceed from the King. A petition from the 

The London Lord Mayor and Aldermen drew the attention of the 
Council to the growing mischief. They alleged that 
swarms of beggars were attracted by the new houses. Prices 
had risen in consequence of the increasing demand for the 
necessaries of life. Many of the houses were built over water- 
pipes, and cut off the supply of water. The danger of in- 
fection was increased. Soil was carried down to the river, which 
threatened to impede navigation. 1 

Doubtless something more than pure enthusiasm for the 
public good was at work in the minds of the petitioners. The 
population within the City looked on the population outside 
the City as its rival in trade. 

After a year's consideration the Council responded to the 

City petition. One valuable suggestion they made, but it was 

,6 33 . made only to be dropped. They advised that the 

o. 23. streets and alleys which had grown up to the north 

Answer of ' 

the Council, of the Strand should be brought under municipal 
government by being divided between the cities of London 
and Westminster. For the rest, they simply adopted the 
recommendations of the City. In order to ascertain the extent 

1 Council Register, Oct. 29, 1632. How strongly the Corporation felt 
on this subject is shown by the presentation of a petition to the House of 
Commons on June 14, 1642. praying that a Bill mijjht be passed against 
new buildings. Common Council Journal Book, xi. 33. 


of their legal powers a test case was brought into the Star 
Chamber, when Attorney-General Noy argued that though 
there was no statute to authorise the demolition of the new 
buildings, they might be proceeded against as nuisances under 
the common law. Coventry and the two Chief Justices 
accepted this doctrine, and orders were given to commence the 
demolitions. ' As long as Charles retained authority permission 
to build was seldom granted, though in a few exceptional cases 
the prohibition was relaxed on payment of a fine. 

The natural result was the overcrowding of existing houses. 
To provide a remedy householders were ordered to forbear 

1637. from taking lodgers. It was not easy to enforce the 
to W w r bT d ~ or der. A return made in 1637, when the ravages of 
remedied by the plague had frightened the authorities, who were 

prohibiting . 

lodgers. ignorantly doing their best to promote the dissemi- 
nation of disease, shows how little their edicts were observed. 
In one house were found eleven married couples and fifteen 
single persons. In another the householder had taken in 
eighteen lodgers. Even the Company of Freemasons had cut 
up their common hall into tenements. 2 The wisest were as 
far wrong as the most ignorant. In a report on the 
Report of the causes of the plague made by the College of Physi- 
ans ' cians, the chief blame is thrown not on restriction, 
but on the increase of building, ' by which multitudes of people 
are drawn hither to inhabit, by which means both the air is 
much offended and provision is made more scarce.' It is true 
that this statement is followed by a list of nuisances to be 
abated. The sewers and ditches were not properly cleansed. 
Ponds which should have been filled up were left to collect 
refuse. The streets were not swept as they should be. Lay 
'stalls were allowed to remain close to the habitations of man. 
Those who died of the plague were buried within the City, and 
come of the graveyards were so full that partially decomposed 
bodies were taken up to make room for fresh interments. Corn, 
meat, and fish unfit for consumption were sold to the poor. 
The physicians recommended the erection of a Health Office 

1 Council Register, Oct. 23, 1633. Add, MSS. 11,764, fol. 2, 
1 Returns, May 1637, S. P. Dom. ccclix. 


to provide a remedy, a recommendation which no one attempted 
to carry into effect. 1 

For good or for evil it was dangerous to interfere with the 
great City commonwealth. The settlement of the affairs of 

!6 3 8. Londonderry, 2 though more favourable to the City 
The London- t jj an h a( j been at one time expected, was lone 

deny forfeit- ' 

"> cherished as a deadly grievance. The Irish lands, 

settled at the cost of so much labour and capital, were for- 
feited to the Crown. The greater part of the fine imposed was 
indeed remitted, but i2,ooo/. was exacted for the use of the 
Queen, 3 who happened to be in want of that sum. Another 
subject of irritation was an arrangement for increasing the 
The City tithes due to the City clergy. On the face of the 
clergy. matter, Laud, who pushed it on in the Council, had 
justice on his side. The tithes by which the clergy were sup- 
ported had sunk to a mere pittance through under-valuation of 
the property on which they were charged, and Laud insisted on 
a more accurate valuation. The citizens regarded his demand 
from a very different point of view. If they were illiberal in the 
payment of tithes, they had been very liberal in irregular pay- 
ments to preachers and lecturers. They liked, however, to 
select the recipients of their bounty as Laud would have put 
it, to bring the clergy into subservience to themselves, or, as 
they would have put it, to take care that their ministers were 
not infected by the new ceremonialism. 

Collisions between the Council and the City were of 

constant occurrence. In 1636 the failure of the proposal to 

itf extend the municipal governments of London and 

The new Westminster over the districts covered with recent 

' buildings was followed by the establishment of a new 

corporation for those districts, which, by enforcing the usual 

trade regulations, should prohibit the intrusion of persons who 

had not served their regular apprenticeship. The citizens of 

London regarded the new arrangement with a jealous eye, and 

1 The College of Physicians to the Council, Aug (?) 1637, S. P. Dow. 
ccclxvi. 78. 

* See page 60. . 

There is a Privy Seal to this effect 


a proposal that apprentices who had served their time under 
the new corporation should be admitted to trade in the City 
found no favour in their sight. 1 The spirit of monopoly was 
everywhere vigorous. In 1634, when an enterprising stable- 
keeper for the first time sent hackney coaches to 
Hackney stand for hire in the streets, many persons held up 
coaches. t ne i r hands in horror at the innovation. It was 
seriously proposed that no coach should be hired for less than 
a three miles' journey, and that unmarried gentlemen should be 
forbidden to ride in them except when accompanied by their 
parents. 2 The London watermen made objections of a different 
kind. They were quite ready to see any number of coaches 
driving northwards towards Islington and Hoxton, but they 
held it to be intolerable presumption in them to compete with 
the wherries on the river by driving from the City to West- 
minster. For a time these objections prevailed. In 
1636 a proclamation was issued forbidding the 
hiring of hackney coaches for a shorter journey than one of 
three miles. Too extensive a use of coaches, it was said, would 
block up the streets, break up the pavements, and raise the 
price of hay. 3 It was not long before it was discovered that 
the coaches which had been so severely condemned were not 
without their use. Like the vintners, the coachmen 


applied to Hamilton to license fifty hackney coach- 
men for London and Westminster, and as many as he thought 
right for other places in England. Hamilton did not grant 
these licenses for nothing, 4 but he provided London with 
vehicles which were to be hired by all who wished to employ 

Another salutary innovation was the establishment of a 

1 Charter, June 2, 1636, Patent Kolls, 12 Charles I., Part 20, No. 7. 
Proclamation, Nov. 22, 1637, Rymer, xx. 173. Council Register, May 6, 

* Paper of suggestions, May 5, 1634, S. P. Dom. cclxvii. 36. 

1 Watermen's Petition, June 1634, S. P. Doni. cclxix. 52 ; Proclama- 
tion, June 19, 1636, Rynier, xix. 721. 

4 A bundle of these licenses is preserved amongst the Verney Papers 
at Claydon. 

u a 


post office for the transmission of letters. Hitherto, anyone 

who wished to communicate with his friends, and 

The letter- who was not sufficiently wealthy to send his letters 
by a private messenger, was obliged to entrust them 
to a carrier, who conveyed them over the miry roads at the 
rate of sixteen or eighteen miles a day. Under this system, the 
few persons who had communications with Scotland or Ireland 
were well content if they received an answer within two months. 
In 1635 *he Government adopted a proposal for establishing a 
regular post on the principal roads. Six days were allowed for 
going to Edinburgh and back. The other main routes were 
from London to Plymouth, and from London to Holyhead, 
cross posts being established to serve the principal towns lying 
off the road. The charge for a single letter was twopence for 
a distance of eighty miles. 1 By an arrangement with 
the King of France and the Cardinal Infant, the 
system was extended beyond the Channel, and merchants were 
able to send a single letter to Antwerp for eightpence, and to 
Paris for ninepence. 2 

Like all the Stuart kings, Charles took an interest in those 
improvements which were likely to increase the material pros- 
1626. perity of the country. In his father's reign there had 
Hatfieid" f k een manv P ro j ects f r reclaiming inundated lands, 
Chase. but it was not till after his own accession that any- 
thing serious was attempted. In 1626 a commencement 
was made with Hatneld Chase, where 70,000 acres were 
flooded by the rivers which converge to form the Humber. A 
Dutchman, Cornelius Vermuyden, skilled in the art of raising 
embankments and cutting canals, was brought over from 
Holland. Dutch capitalists were induced to provide money 
for the venture, and the strong arms of Dutch labourers, not 
without some admixture of Flemish refugees and French 
Huguenots, were ready to wield the pickaxe and the spade. 
The operation was certain to be unpopular amongst the sur- 

1 Proposition, June, 5". P. Dom. ccxci. 114 ; Proclamation, July 31, 
1635, Kymer, xix. 649. 

- Commission, April 5, 1637, Patent Rolli t 13 Charles I., Part 41 
Dors. No. 3. 


rounding peasantry. Voices were raised in complaint that 
1628. water was being forced over fields which had ones 
Workmen been ^ > an< ^ ^ e grievances of landowners were 
employed, echoed by the grievances of large numbers without 
avowed occupation, who had gathered round the waste grounds, 
and who made a livelihood by catching fish and snaring ducks, 
as well as by various other contrivances, for the cessation ol 
which the undertakers of the works would hardly be able to find 
an exact pecuniary compensation. Jealousy of foreigners fanned 
the flame of hatred. The embankments were broken through 
and the workmen were attacked. The foreigners took up arms 
in self-defence, and an Englishman was killed in the 


between the struggle. The sheriff of the county restored order, 

and'th" 6 and Vermuyden, made wise by experience, offered 

to employ native labourers at high wages, and to 

compensate those whom he had unintentionally damaged. In 

1629 Vermuyden was knighted, and received a grant 

of the lands which he had recovered on payment of 

a yearly rent, and a fine of i6,ooo/. 1 

The old difficulties were not yet at an end. The Govern- 
ment found it a hard task to keep the peace. The enthusiastic 
The Govern- and quick-tempered Dutch engineer was apt to regard 
tempts'to l ^ e English peasants in the light of ignorant and 
mediate. selfish obstructives. The peasants looked upon every 
accidental injury as a premeditated wrong. At last the whole 
dispute was committed to the mediation of Wentworth and 
Hutton, the best men for the purpose to be found in England. 
After full inquiry, they drew up an award, which was sub- 
sequently confirmed by the Court of Exchequer, by which the 
rights of the tenants and the commoners were fully protected. 
Vermuyden, in dudgeon, parted with his interest. The im- 
migrants whom he had employed, about two hundred families 
of foreign origin, remained on the soil which they had rescued. 
Grass grew, and corn waved, where a few years before Hem y, 

1 Hunter, Hist, of the Deanery of Doncaster, i. 160. Ansbie to Buck- 
ingham, Aug. 21. Vernatti to St. Giles, Oct. 1628, S. P. Dom. cxiii. 38 ; 
cxix. 73. 


Prince of Wales, had captured a whole herd of deer swimming 
in the waters. The neighbours still remonstrated that they 
were occasionally deluged by artificial floods ; but when once 
the drainage was fully completed the inundations ceased. 1 
From another kind of hardship the foreigners found no escape. 
They had been permitted to erect a chapel in which they 
i6 6 might worship God in their native tongues, and 
The foreign- they interpreted that permission as conveying a 
peiiedTo licence to use the forms of their native land. Arch- 
th" E^ikh bishop Neile was horrified to find that these Dutch- 
Church. men an( j Frenchmen had established a Presbyterian 
congregation on English soil, that they baptized infants without 
a font, and received the Communion without kneeling at the 
rail. Neile at once intervened. The strangers were compelled 
to dismiss their minister, to pull down their chapel, and to 
attend the parish churches of the neighbourhood. 2 

The draining of Hatfield Chase was not the only work of 

the kind accomplished in England during these years. Many 

thousands of acres were reclaimed in Lincolnshire. 


The Great Of all the fens the largest was that known as the 
Great Level, which spread round the Isle of Ely over 
more than 300,000 acres, covered by the overflow of the Ouse, 
the Nen, and the Welland. What was in winter a vast expanse 
of water was in summer a drearv swamp. On the damp islets 
an ague-stricken population gathered a coarse hay, and cut 
the willows which supplied the basket-makers of England. 
Wild ducks and wild geese were to be captured by hundreds, 
and pike and other fresh water fish were to be had in plenty. 
Men who passed half their lives in boats, and who, when they 
left their boats, strapped on the long stilts which enabled 
them to stride from one piece of dry ground to another, were 
terrified when they heard of a coming change. Their scared 
feelings were well expressed by words placed in their mouths 
by a rhymester of the day. 

1 Hunter, i. 162. 

2 Neile to Laud, June 23, Sept. 8, 1636 ; Neile's report, S. P. Dom. 
cccxxvii. 47, cccxxxi. 71, cccxlv. 85, i. 5. 


Behold the great design, which they do now determine, 

Will make our bodies pine, a prey to crows and vermin ; 

For they do mean all fens to drain and waters overmaster, 

All will be dry, and we must die, 'cause Essex calves want pasture. 1 

The first serious attempt to deal with the Great Level was 
made in 1629 by the Commissioners of Sewers, a body com- 
posed of the neighbouring gentry acting under the 
with Ver- authority of the Crown. They entered into a contract 
with Vermuyden to drain the level. The proposal 
to introduce foreigners was, however, as unpalatable in Lincoln- 
shire and Cambridgeshire as it had been in Yorkshire, and the 
Commissioners were forced by the public opinion of the district 
to rescind the contract. They then urged the Earl 
of Bedford to place himself at the head of the work. 
On his consent, it was arranged that 95,000 acres of the drained 
land should be allotted to him. Of this share, however, he 
1631. was to set apart 12,000 for the King, and the profits 
Bedford^ f ^ 4> oo were to serve as a security for keeping up 
undertaking, the works after their completion. The amount of 
land which he was actually to enjoy would therefore be reduced 
to 43,000 acres. He divided the undertaking into 
twenty shares, and in 1634 the shareholders were 
i6 incorporated by Royal Charter. The work pro- 

Thecompie- ceeded rapidly, and in October, 1637 the Commis- 

tion of the . ,- ~ 1-111 -111 

work an- sioners of Sewers decided that it had been com- 
nounced. pi e ted, and adjudged the stipulated reward to the 
Earl and his associates. 8 

The associates, however, were not satisfied. They com- 
plained that Bedford had pursued his own interests at their 

expense, and threatened him with a prosecution 
insufficiently in the Star Chamber unless he treated them more 

fairly. 3 Vermuyden too, who had been employed 
by Bedford, was equally discontented. Bedford, it was alleged, 
had claimed his reward before he had fully carried out his 
contract. In summer the reclaimed land was tolerably dry. 

1 Dugdale's History of Embanking, 391. 

2 Cole, Collection of Laws, xxiii. 

* Complaints of the shareholders, Oct. 1637, /far!. AfSS. 5011, fol. 37. 


In winter, the streams swelled as before, and the waters poured 
over the level plain. Bedford, it would seem, had done all that 
was in his power to do. He had spent ioc,ooo/. on the under- 
taking. Yet, unless more was done, his labours would have 
been almost in vain. 1 

On April 12, 1638, a new body of Commissioners, appointed 
1638. for the purpose, opened a session at Huntingdon. 
Th^King Whilst they were still sitting, they received from the 
ontritlT&e King a letter in which, with his accustomed indiscre 
work. tion, he announced that he had formed a decided 

opinion that the works were incomplete, and then added that 
he was prepared to take them into his own hands. 2 The Corn- 
Action of missioners took a personal survey of the works, and 
IfonSs of" s ~ obtained verdicts from seven different juries. Upon 
sewers. this evidence they declared the drainage to be un- 
finished. 3 Whether they were acting under pressure or not, 
they were, necessarily, after the reception of the King's letter, 
liable to the imputation of doing so. At their next 
meeting at Wisbech in May, they imposed a taxation 
varying from los. to 40^. an acre, to support the expense of 
carrying out the original plan. 

The money was to be paid at their next meeting at Hunting- 
don in July. 4 Before the appointed day arrived, other voices 
Riots in the made themselves heard. Imperfect as it was, Bed- 
fens, ford's work had created sore discontent amongst many 
of the inhabitants of the district. 6 Landowners complained that 

1 This is distinctly stated by Vermuyden, A Discourse touching the 
Draining, &c. Compare Dugdale, 411, and the Act of 1649, which shows 
that the drained land was even then under water in winter. The accounts 
usually given, as for instance in Cole's Collection of Laws ignore this 
ground of the King's interference. Wells reprints Cole's objurgations, 
though he interlaces them with remarks of his own, conceived in a different 
spirit, giving, however, no intimation which are Cole's sentences and 
which are his own. 

* We have only the abstract of this letter in Cole xxviii. He misdates 
it as written in 1639. 

1 Inrolments of the laws of sewers, Part I , R. O. 
4 Dugdale, 411. 

* A pamphlet, the Anti- Projector ; written after 1649, asserts that 


they were worse off than they had been before his intervention. 
The whole tribe of fishermen and willow-cutters proclaimed 
themselves grievously wronged. Their commons, as they called 
the swamp, had been taken from them, and at the best they 
would have to betake themselves to an uncongenial life of hard 
agricultural labour. From the moment that the 
Commissioners declared against the Earl, a vague 
hope spread that the King might be on their side. In May 
Bedford's workmen were interrupted by a disorderly 
mob. 1 On June 4 the magistrates of the Isle of Ely 
were informed that there had been an assemblage of forty or 
fifty men, at which it had been resolved to collect at least six 
hundred on the following day, on the pretext of a football 
match, to destroy the drainage works. Two of the ringleaders 
were arrested. The next day was rainy, and only 
two hundred persons appeared to begin the work of 
destruction. There were more arrests, and the mob was dis- 
persed. One of the prisoners gave expression to the thought 
which was doubtless present to the minds of all. He would 
not leave his commons, he said, till he saw the King's hand and 
seal. He would obey God and the King, and no one else, for 
they all were but subjects. "What," he asked, "if one might 
be inspired to do the poor good, and help them to their 
commons again ? " 2 

Bedford's grant was illegal ; and that, whereas by the Act of 43 Ehz. 
cap. n, a lord of the manor was bound to obtain the consent of the 
majority of owners and commoners before commencing drainage works, he 
had falsely stated that this had been obtained. 

1 Windebank to Peachy, May 16, .i. P. Dom. cccxc. 89. 

- Justices of the Peace to the Council, June 9, S. P. Dom. cccxcii. 45. 
It is difficult to say what Cromwell had to do with the matter. Sir Philip 
Warwick's statement that he threw himself into opposition to the King has 
led everyone astray. Probably Warwick, when he wrote his Memoirs, 
could not conceive Cromwell as acting except in opposition to the King. 
Mr. Forster in his Life of Cromwell has a highly imaginative narrative of 
Cromwell's proceedings which has no support in any known evidence. If 
Cromwell had really bearded the Court, his name would have appeared on 
the Council Register as a prisoner. Mr. Sanford (Studies of the Great 
Rebellion, 252) is far more moderate ; but even he suggests that Cromwell 


When the Commissioners met on July 18, it was to declare 
their determination to enforce the taxation which they had 
July 18. ordered, and to announce that the inhabitants were 
XrcommU- to contmue m possession of their lands and common' 
sioners. till the drainage was completed. Nor were Bedford 
and his partners to have any reasonable cause for dissatisfac- 
tion. By the original arrangement, after providing 12,000 acres 
for the King and 40,000 to form a provision for the maintenance 
of the works, they would have had 43,000 to divide amongst 
themselves. They were now offered 40,000 without the obliga- 
tion of finishing the works at all. If, as has been said, the annual 
value of the reclaimed land was 305. an acre, they would ob- 
tain a yearly income of 6o,ooo/. by a capital expenditure of 
ioo,ooo/. They had certainly no reason to complain. 

The King himself was to undertake the work, receiving 

57,000 acres in return. Little was, however, done 
to undertake by him. Troubles were coming thickly upon Charles, 

and he had neither money nor time to bestow upon 
the fens. Possibly he might not have succeeded even under 

appeared on behalf of the commoners, ' turning that current of popular 
opinion against the King's undertaking, which had been created in order to 
facilitate his illegal proceedings; so that the Commissioners, afraid of meet- 
ing the opposition of the whole of the parties, made an order to permit the 
landholders to take the profits of their lands, and to the generality granied 
common of pasture over the whole of the acreage. . . . Both these conces- 
sions, without much doubt, were owing to the skilful opposition of Oliver.* 
The simple answer to this hypothesis is, that the Commissioners met on 
July 18, and that Charles had on July 10 announced his intention of making 
these concessions (Bankes to Windebank, July 21, S. P. Dom. cccxcv. 77), 
when he can have had no fear of Oliver before his eyes. Nevertheless, it is 
highly probable that Cromwell did take the part of these poor men. If he 
did so, he must have been on the King's side against Bedford, and not, as is 
always asserted, on Bedford's side against the King. This would be the more 
creditable to him, as political motives would have drawn him to Bedford, 
and his cousin St. John was Bedford's counsel and one of the adventurers. 
There is nothing whatever to connect the nickname 'Lord of the Fens' 
with these proceedings. It simply occurs as one of the many names for the 
leading Parliamentarians in the Metcurius Aulicus of Nov. 6, 1643. Sir H. 
Vane appears as ' an old New England man,' Rudyerd as ' a grave senator,' 
&c. &c. All that can be meant is, that Cromwell lived in the fens. 


more favourable circumstances. He selected Vermuyden as his 
July 18. engineer, and even then voices were raised to argue that 
Vermuyden's ideas were unpractical. Modern engineers have 
decided that the objections then brought were of great weight. 1 
The story of the first attempt to effect the drainage of the 
great fens is worthy of notice by the historian as well as by the 
Behaviour of engineer. It brings out into clear relief both the 
Charles. merits and the defects of Charles's character. It is 
evident that he was anxious to carry out a work of real im- 
portance, both when he entrusted it to Bedford and when he 
took it into his own hands. It is evident, too, that he desired 
both that the rich should be benefited and that the poor should 
not be wronged. Yet he gained no credit for his good inten- 
tions. He took his decision in private before any inquiry had 
been held, and he stultified his Commissioners by announcing 
to them his decision just as they were starting to make the in- 
quiry upon which it was ostensibly to be based. When all this 
parade of investigation ended in the assignment of a large 
number of acres to himself, it was easy to leap to the conclusion 
that the sole object of the whole proceeding was to fill the 
exchequer at the expense of a popular nobleman, whose advo- 
cates before the Commissioners were St. John and Holborne, 
the very men who had recently been retained by Hampden. 

From whatever side Charles's conduct is approached, the 
result is the same. He failed because morally, intellectually, 
isolation of an< ^ politically he was isolated in the midst of his 
cnaries. generation. He had no wish to erect a despotism, 
to do injustice, or to heap up wealth at the expense of his sub- 
jects. If he had confidence in his own judgment, his confi- 
dence was not entirely without justification. He was a shrewd 
critic of other men's mistakes, and usually succeeded in hitting 
the weak point of an opponent's argument, though it often 
happened that, taken as a whole, the argument of his opponents 
was far stronger than his own. Especially on theological ques- 
tions, he was able to hold' his own against trained disputants. 

1 Burrell, Exceptions against Vermuyden's Discourse. " One of the 
principal labours of modern engineers has been to rectify the errors of 
Veimuyden and his followers." Smiles' Lives of the Engineers, i. 56. 


On all matters relating to art, he was an acknowledged master. 
His collection of pictures was the finest and most complete in 
Europe. He had that technical knowledge which enabled him 
instinctively to distinguish between the work of one painter and 
another. He was never happier than when he was conversing 
with musicians, painters, sculptors, and architects. He treated 
Rubens and Vandyke as his personal friends. But the brain 
which could test an argument or a picture could never test a 
man. Nothing could ever convince him of the unworthiness 
of those with whom he had been in the long habit of familiar 
intercourse. Nothing could ever persuade him of the worthi- 
ness of those who were conscientiously opposed to hi? govern- 
ment. There was no gradation either in his enmity or his 
friendship. An Eliot or a Pym was to him just the same 
virulent slanderer as a Leighton or a Bastwick. A Wentworth 
and a Holland were held in equal favour, and those who were 
ready to sacrifice their lives in his cause were constantly finding 
obstacles thrown in their efforts to advance his interests through 
the King's soft-hearted readiness to gratify the prayers of some 
needy courtier. 

In his unwarranted self-reliance Charles enormously under- 
estimated the difficulties of government, and especially of a 

government such as his. He would have nothing 
estimates his to say to ' thorough,' because he did not understand 
ties ' that thoroughness was absolutely essential. He would 
not get rid of slothful or incompetent officials, would not set 
aside private interests for great public ends, would not take 
the trouble to master the details of the business on which 
he was engaged. He thought that he had done everything 
in ridding himself of Parliaments, though in reality he had 

done but little. He did not see that Parliaments 

The local 

organisation had roots in the local organisations of the country, 
country un- and that, as long as these organisations remained in- 
tuc e . tact, they would be ready to blossom into Parliaments 
again at the first favourable opportunity. Sheriffs and justices 
of the peace, no doubt, were appointed by the King. In his 
name they administered justice or executed the directions of 
the Council. They were not, however, as the Intendants of the 


old French Monarchy or the Prefects of the Empire, entirely 
dependent upon the master in whose name they acted. They 
were country gentlemen with the same habits of thought, the 
same "feelings of independence, as their neighbours around 
them. If they collected ship-money, they collected it un- 
willingly, and there were few indeed amongst them who did not 
sympathise with the gallant resistance of Hampden. 

In the towns the local organisation was far more inde- 
pendent of the Government than it was in the counties. Such 
The City of a c *ty as tnat ^ London, for instance, contained a 
London. potential force which it would be hard to beat down. 
It was no mere assemblage of individual units, content to store 
up wealth, or to secure their daily bread. It had an organisa- 
tion of its own, reaching from the highest to the lowest. Its 
Lord Mayor, its Aldermen, its Common Council and Common 
Hall constituted a municipal republic. Its great merchant 
societies were busily engaged in extending the limits of English 
commerce in the most distant lands. At home the great 
City Companies maintained the traditions of trade and manu- 
facture, and looked with a jealous eye on all attempts made 
by those outside their pale to participate in their profits. If 
the richer merchants were sometimes tempted into subser- 
viency by the timidity cf wealth and by the allurements of 
such gains as were attainable by a farmer of the Customs, or a 
shareholder in one of the new monopolies, the mass of the 
citizens had nothing directly to hope or fear from the Crown ; 
whilst the habit of participating in the election of those by 
whom the affairs of the City were directed, and in the actual 
decision of more important questions, inspired them with that 
mutual reliance which is the ripest fruit of community of action. 
Nor was that action confined to speech and counsel. The 
defence of the City was not confided to an army paid and 
commanded by the central authority of the State, but to the 
trained bands composed of its own citizens. The protection 
of life and property was not entrusted to a salaried police. 
The citizens themselves kept watch and ward. When trouble 
was abroad, when apprentices were likely to be riotous, or when 
some unwonted pageant attracted denser crowds than usual 


into the streets, the householder was still required, as in days 
of remote antiquity, to be answerable for the conduct of every 
member of his household, and to pay the penalty for the 
wrong-doing of his children and servants. 1 

Such a population and if other town corporations were far 

behind the capital in wealth and population, they were not far 

behind in self-reliance was not likely to endure for 

Charles s , . ...... 

task a hope- ever to be entirely excluded from all participation in 
the direction of the national policy, especially as the 
freeholders and gentry of the counties were very much like- 
minded with the inhabitants of the towns. 

" The blessing of Judah and Issachar," wrote Bacon, " will 
never meet, that the same people or nation should be both the 
lion's whelp and the ass between burdens. . . Although the 
same tribute and tax laid by consent or by imposing be all one 
to the purse, yet it works diversely upon the courage." From 
the wisdom which had dictated these words Charles had gone 
very far astray. 

Yet it is no matter of surprise that the inevitable resistance 
was so long delayed. In the midst of material prosperity there 
The revoiu- was no sharp sting of distress to goad the masses to 
tion delayed, defiance of authority. Men of property and educa- 
tion had, in the intermission of Parliaments, no common centre 
round which they could rally. Those who were united in 
political opposition to the Crown were divided by their religious 
sympathies. The feeling of irritation against Laud's meddle- 
some interference with habitual usage was indeed almost 
universal ; but Puritanism was, after all, the creed only of a 
minority. Many of those who detested the High Commission 
most bitterly would be no partners in any violent or revolution- 
ary change. 

If the nation, however, was not ready to overthrow its 
The nation government by force, it was not prepared to make 
i"i^u!sl a from anv e ff rt to sustain it. How long this state of things 
without. would have endured, if no impulse had come from 
without, it is impossible to say. The impulse came from a 

1 The Journal Book of the Court of Common Council is full of informa- 
tion on these points. 


quarter from which Englishmen had long ceased to expect 
either good or evil. In 1636 Scotland, with its scanty popula- 
tion and its hardy poverty, was as seldom mentioned in London 
as the Republic of Genoa or the Electorate of Brandenburg. 
In 1638 it was in the mouths of all men. Charles had inflicted 
on the Scottish nation a blow which it deeply resented, and its 
resentment had already led to avowed resistance. 




SCOTSMAN as he was by birth, Charles knew even less of his 
northern than of his southern kingdom. Since his early 
t6 childhood he had only paid one brief visit to Scot- 

Charles and land. That visit had witnessed an outburst of dis- 
' ots< satisfaction amongst the nobility with that episcopal 
government which they had eagerly assisted James to impose 
on a Presbyterian Church. 

The nobles had discovered that in placing a yoke on the 

necks of the clergy they had raised up rivals to themselves. 

Everywhere in Scotland the bishops were thrusting 

The nobility . . . . . * 

and the them aside. The Archbishop of St. Andrews was 
Lord Chancellor of Scotland. Other bishops were 
members of the Privy Council. Whenever Parliament met 
the bishops had in their hands the selection of the Lords of 
the Articles, and experience had shown that resistance to the 
decisions of the Lords of the Articles was not likely to be 
successful. In the country districts the bishops claimed that 
respect and submission which the earl or the lord believed to 
be due to himself alone. Although Charles had given to the 
holders of Church property an indefeasible title to the estates 
which their fathers had usurped, and had actually purchased 
lands with English money to serve as an endowment for the 
revived bishoprics, it was hard for him to allay the suspicion 
that he intended sooner or later to re-confiscate to the use of 
the Church that which had been confiscated from the Church 
by an earlier generation of landowners. The greater part of 
the nobility, therefore, hated the bishops thoroughly, and those 


few who did not hate them were not inclined to move a finger 
in their behalf. Of all the Scottish lords not one was more 
loyal than Lord Napier, the son of the inventor of logarithms. 
But he was as intolerant as Rothes or Loudoun of the political 
eminence into which the bishops had been thrust "That 
bishops have a competence," he wrote, " is agreeable to the 
law of God and man ; but to invest them into great estates 
and principal officers of the State is neither convenient for the 
Church, for the King, nor for the State." ' 

If Charles could have been content to leave the Scottish 
Church as he found it at the time of his visit, it is hardly likely 
The Scottish th at ^ e no btes would ever have gathered courage 
Church. to res i s t him. It is true that their power over their 
tenants was far greater than that possessed by English land- 
owners, but it was less than that which had been possessed 
by their fathers. The middle classes had been growing in 
importance and cohesion, and even the peasants looked for 
guidance to their minister rather than to their lord. Till very 
recently the bulk of the clergy was tolerably contented. Here 
and there was to be found a man who had remained faithful 
to the extreme Presbyterianism of a former generation, and 
a large number felt the Articles of Perth to be a serious 
grievance. But their material comfort had been greatly in- 
creased by Charles and his father, at the expense of the neigh- 
bouring landowners. The bishops interfered but little with 
their parochial ministrations. Above all, they were free to 
preach the whole Calvinistic creed, and to fulminate anathemas 
against Popery and Arminianism to their hearts' content No 
Royal declaration bound them, as it bound the Southern 
clergy, to abstain from enlarging on controverted topics. No 
canons or rubrics existed which could be quoted as sanctioning 
an obsolete ceremonial. 

The direction of the Articles of Perth to kneel at the re- 
ception of the Communion roused, it is true, no little opposi- 
tion. It sometimes happened that when a minister asked the 
congregation to kneel, they flocked out of the church, leaving 

1 Napier, Memorials of Montrost, i. 70. 


him alone at the table. 1 But in general, either by the con- 
nivance of the bishops at irregularities or by the sub- 

Kneeling at . . . . , 

the Com- mission of the congregations, there was less trouble 
caused by this injunction than might have been ex- 
pected. Here and there, under the shelter of epis- 

Varietiesof . . . , , 

doctrine and copal authority, there were even to be found islands 
of a faith and practice which contrasted strangely 
with the level waters around. The colleges of Aberdeen were 
notorious for their adherence to a more tolerant creed than 
that of the rest of the clergy. At the King's Chapel at Holy- 
rood, at one of the colleges at St. Andrews, and at some of the 
cathedrals, the English Prayer Book was used without giving 
offence. 2 If matters had been allowed to take their course, it 
is just possible, though it is not very probable, that the Church 
of Scotland would have been the first to give an example of that 
comprehensive tolerance which was the ideal of Chillingworth 
and Hales. 

Of no such elasticity in practice was Charles at any time 

likely to approve. When, in 1633, Laud accompanied the King 

to Scotland, he was struck by the mean aspect of 

Charles de- * 

termines to many of the Scottish churches. Some of them were 
Scottish plain square buildings, looking, as he said, very like 
pigeon-houses. The galleries inside reminded him 
of seats in a theatre. 3 On one occasion, when he found an old 
Gothic building thus maltreated, and was told that the change 
had been made at the Reformation, he answered sharply that it 
was not a reformation, but a deformation. 4 

This carelessness about external propriety was no doubt to 
j6 be attributed in great part to the prevalence of Cal- 
Brereton's vinism. Yet it cannot be altogether dissociated from 
the n hab!ts n of that carelessness about the external decencies of life 
the Scots. w hich was simply the result of poverty. The Eng- 
land of the. seventeenth century was assuredly far behind the 

1 This happened at Ayr. Brereton's Travels, Chetham Society, 121. 

* Large Declaration, 20. 3 Works, iii. 365. 

4 This fling at the ugliness of the Scottish churches is usually quoted 
by writers who ought to know better, as if it implied that the Scotch had 
been better off under the Pope. 


England of our own times in sanitary precautions. An English 
traveller who visited Edinburgh in 1635, spoke with amazement 
of the filth which was allowed to accumulate even in the best 
houses. " This city," he wrote, " is placed in a dainty, health- 
ful, pure air, and doubtless were a most healthful place to live 
in, were not the inhabitants most sluttish, nasty, and slothful 
people. I could never pass through the hall but I was con- 
strained to hold my nose ; their chambers, vessels, linen, and 
meat nothing neat, but very slovenly." Linen which had been 
washed was in much the same state as dirty linen would be in 
England. ' To come into their kitchen, and to see them dress 
their meat, and to behold their sink ' was ' a sufficient supper, 
and ' would ' take off the edge of the stomach.' The writer is 
the more to be credited, because in higher matters he is 
extremely laudatory. " The greatest part of the Scots," he de- 
clares, "are very honest and zealously religious. I observed 
few given to drink or swearing ; but if any oath, the most 
ordinary oath was ' Upon my soul.' The most of my hosts I 
met withal, and others with whom I conversed, I found very 
sound and orthodox, and zealously religious. In their demands 
they do not so much exceed as with us in England, but insist 
upon and adhere unto their first demand for any commodity." l 
For all this hard-headed zeal and honesty Charles had no 
admiration. His eye did not penetrate beneath the external 
!6 34 . crust of Scottish life. To him, as to Laud, a Re- 
~, M i. y . J 3; formation which had produced churches so ill- built, 

The King s _ r 

intentions, and 3. ritual so unadorned, was no better than a 
deformation. The long extemporary prayers of the ministers 
annoyed him, as they have annoyed many an Englishman 
since. 2 For all this he had a fitting remedy. "We," he wrote 
to the Scottish bishops soon after his return to England, " ten- 
dering the good and peace of that Church by having good and 
decent order and discipline observed therein, whereby religion 
and God's worship may increase, and considering that there is 
nothing more defective in that Church than the want of a Book 
of Common Prayer and uniform service to be kept in all the 

1 Brtreton's Travels, IO2, 106, no. * Large Declaration, 15. 

X 2 


churches thereof, and the want of canons for the uniformity of 
the same, we are hereby pleased to authorise you as the repre- 
sentative body of that Church, and do herewith will and require 
you to condescend upon a form of Church service to be used 
therein, and to set down canons for the uniformity of the dis 
cipline thereof." l 

Officially, no doubt, the bishops might be held to be 'the 
representative body of that Church.' Of the religious heart and 
The bishops soul of Scotland they were in no sense the represen- 
Church tatives. Even in relation to the organisation of the 
courts. Church, their position was very different from that of 
their English brethren. An English bishop had the Church 
courts at his disposal. The churchwardens, as English Puritans 
bitterly complained, were bound by oath tc present offenders 
against Church law before authorities entirely independent of 
the parishioners. In Scotland, the episcopal jurisdiction had 
taken no such deep root. In the general management of eccle- 
siastical affairs the bishops had taken the place of the Assembly, 
but the local management of parochial affairs was still in the 
hands of elected officers. Deacons were chosen by the parish- 
ioners to take charge of the provision for the poor, and elders 
to take cognisance of moral faults committed by members of 
the congregation. The deacons and elders held weekly meet- 
ings with the ministers to consult on the affairs of the parish. 
Acts of immorality were punished, as in England, by exposure 
on the stool of repentance in the face of the congregation. 
Persons loitering in the streets, or tippling and gaming during 
service time, were sent to prison. 2 

In this way the Scottish middle class received its political 
education. Men learned to act together in the Church courts, 
where they were not over-shadowed, as they were in their single 

1 The King to the Bishops, May 13, Sprott's Scottish Liturgies, 
Introd. xlviii. Compare Keble's feeling when he visited Scotland. "The 
kirks, and the manner in which they defile and insult the sacred places, 
e.g. Jedburgh Abbey, are even more horrid than I had expected. I would 
not be in one of them at service time on any consideration. They proclaim 
aloud, every inch of them, Down with the altar ! ' " Coleridge, Memoir 
of Keble, 350. * Brereton's Travels ; 106. 


House of Parliament, by great lords and ministers of State. It 
Political was not an education which would encourage variety 
the middie f ^ character. The established principles of morality 
class. an d religion were taken for granted in every discus- 

sion. But if the system bred no leaders of thought, it bound 
man to man in an indissoluble bond. 

Such courts necessarily placed themselves in opposition to 
the bishops, who were every year becoming more distinctly the 
instruments of Laud. As the bishops of the stamp 
position to of Patrick Forbes died, they were succeeded by men 
after Laud's own heart, such as Wedderburn and 
Sydserf. Yet, even these men would hardly have entered on a 
hopeless struggle with the popular feeling, but for the urgency 
of Laud. Laud, indeed, was far too strong an advo- 
thVscottish cate of ecclesiastical propriety, to attempt to in- 
terfere as Archbishop of Canterbury with the Scottish 
Church. If, however, the King asked his advice as a private 
person, he saw no reason why he should decline to give it. Nor 
did he see any reason why he should not convey the King's 
directions to the Northern prelates, if Charles asked him to do 
so. He therefore conveyed instructions to the bishops as if 
he had been the King's secretary, remonstrated with proceed- 
ings which shocked his sense of order, and held out prospects 
of advancement to the zealous. Scotchmen naturally took 
offence. They did not trouble themselves to distinguish be- 
tween the secretary and the Archbishop. They simply said 
that the Pope of Canterbury was as bad as the Pope of Rome. 
In the meanwhile, preparations for applying a remedy to 
the evils which were supposed to afflict the Church of Scotland 
were strenuously urged on in London. A draft of 
The canons the new canons was submitted by the King to Laud 
Prayer' and Juxon, and a draft of the new Prayer Book to 
Laud and Wren. The alterations proposed were 
forwarded to Scotland for the approval of the Scottish bishops ; 
but the brain which had conceived them was that of the restless 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 

The canons authorised in 1635 were issued in the follow- 
ing year. In them is to be discerned an attempt to bridge over 


the gap between the bishops and the parochial courts. There 
i6 6 were to be diocesan and national synods ; and such 
issue of the synods, if fairly constituted and fairly treated, might 
have gone far to keep the existing constitution of 
the Church in working order. But the mode in which these 
canons were issued was in itself an unmistakable intimation 
that Charles had no intention of seriously consulting either the 
clergy or the laity. They came forth to the world on the 
Royal authority alone. Even High Churchmen in the next 
generation shook their heads at the slight shown to the Church. 
Two or three of the bishops had been privately consulted on 
the matter, and that was all. 1 

The canons thus sent into the world contained some good 
advice. Ministers were directed to abstain from long and 
tedious sermons, and to inculcate the duty of righteousness of 
life as well as that of doctrinal orthodoxy. Other commands 
there were, which no one who had the slightest respect for the 
feelings of Scotchmen would have thought of inserting. The 
communion-table was to be placed ' at the upper end of the 
chancel or church.' Though ' sacramental confession and abso- 
lution ' had in some places been abused, all who felt their con- 
sciences burdened were to be encouraged ' to confess their 
offences to the bishop or presbyter.' In every department of 
ministerial work the minister was to be strictly subordinated to the 
bishop, and above the bishops stood the King, whose authority- 
was to be exercised in all ecclesiastical causes in the same way 
as that which ' the godly kings had among the Jews, and the 
Christian emperors in the Primitive Church.' The Prayer 
Book, as yet unpublished, was already placed under the guar- 
dianship of the law of the Church. To assert that it contained 
' anything repugnant to the Scriptures,' or that it was ' corrupt, 
superstitious, or unlawful,' was to incur excommunication.* 

Like the canons, the Prayer Book was submitted to no 
ecclesiastical body whatever. 3 Of the few bishops who had 

1 Burton, Hist, of Scotland, vi. 397. 

2 Canons, Laud's Works, v. 583. 

' For the earlier history of this Prayer Book, see Vol. VII. p. 282. 


been consulted, not one had any knowledge of the temper of 
The Prayer the nation ; and one of them, Wedderburn, Bishop 
liked* as*" ^ Dunblane, had spent many years of his life in 
Popish. England. He strongly advocated the omission, from 
the sentences spoken at the administration of the Communion, 
of the clauses which owed their origin to the second Prayer 
Book of Edward VI. These clauses, he said, seemed ' to relish 
somewhat of the Zwinglian tenet that the Sacrament is a bare 
sign, taken in remembrance of Christ's passion.' This argu- 
ment, as a mere matter of reasoning, may have been good 
enough. The clauses from the first Prayer Book of Edward VI. 
which he proposed to retain lent themselves easily to the Cal- 
vinistic doctrine of a real, though spiritual, presence. What was 
wanting to Wedderburn was the imaginative eye which could 
see beyond the shelves of his episcopal library to the manses of 
the country clergy, and the ability to discover that any un- 
necessary change was certain to arouse suspicion. 1 Nothing 
can be more unfair than to argue that the authors of this un- 
lucky liturgy had any intention of approximating to the Roman 
ritual ; but they could hardly have given greater offence if 
they had introduced the missal at once. If the old forms of 
prayer contained in Knox's Book of Common Order were to be 
abolished, it was only natural that a bewildered people, who 
had not even been consulted on the subject, should ask them- 
selves what was the hidden object with which the change had 
been made. 

Other alterations, slight in themselves, pointed in the same 
direction as the omission of the strongly Protestant clauses in 
The Prayer the administration of the Communion. Another 
Hkdai is " defect was almost equally fatal. Whether the book 
English. was Popish or not, there could be no doubt that it 
was English. It had been touched and re-touched by English 
hands. The knowledge that this had been the case was enough 
to make it odious in Scotland. Even if the gift offered by Laud 

1 Laud's Works, iii. 357. Wedderburn, however, was not the first to 
originate the proposal. It is acted upon in the MS. corrections, probably 
made in 1628, to a Prayer Book now in the British Museum. Egerton 
MSS. 2417. 


had been one of priceless value, it would have been dashed 
scornfully aside. 

In such a cause, the clergy and their congregations were 
certain to be of one mind. Here and there, no doubt, there 
The mode- were a ^ ew men w ^ h'ke Robert Baillie, of Kil- 
rates. winning, had done their best to fit themselves into 

the scheme of Church government which existed around them, 
whilst keeping themselves as much as possible aloof from bishops 
on the one side, and from fanatics on the other. It was pre- 
cisely men of this class that Charles was doing everything in his 
power to alienate. Yet there is every reason to believe that 
neither Charles nor Laud had any conception that the new 
Prayer Book would meet with any serious opposition. It has 
sometimes been asked whether Charles was urged on by love of 
despotism or love of religion. It does not need much know- 
ledge of his character to see that neither of these formed the 
motive power. What he was doing he did from a love of order, 
combined with sheer ignorance of mankind. He could see 
nothing in the book but the decent comeliness of its arrange- 
ments and the well-chosen suitability of its expressions. 1 

To the very last, Laud thought more of polishing the lan- 
guage of the Prayer Book than of securing for it a favourable 
o. 18. reception. It was printed and reprinted, till it seemed 
enforce the to ^ ave reac hed typographical perfection. In Octo- 
useofthe her i6t6, Charles wrote to the Privy Council inform- 


Book. ing them that, 'having taken the counsel of his clergy/ 

he thought fit that the book should 'be used in God's 
public worship.' In December a proclamation ordered 

every parish to adopt it, and to procure two copies of it before 

the following Easter. 2 

1 One of the parts of the book which gave offence was the direction 
for the position of the minister at the consecration. See Burton, Hist, of 
Scotland, vi. 424. The book at Lambeth, which has Laud's annotations, 
diflers from the Scottish book in directly ordering the eastward position. 
Possibly, though the handwriting is Laud's, the suggestion may have been 

2 The King to the Council, Oct. 18, Balfour, ii. 224. The Preface to 
the Prayer Book. 


Easter came, and still the book was not ready. Rumours 
were rife that it had been seen in England, and that it differed 
j6 from the English Prayer Book ' in addition of sundry 

Delay in its more Popish rites.' Others whispered that it was 
nce ' merely the Mass in disguise. As time went on, the 
impending danger grew more terrible in its vagueness. Yet it 
is worthy of notice that there was as yet no thought of resist- 
ance. The utmost to which extreme Puritans ventured to 
aspire was permission to form themselves into a nonconformist 
body, worshipping apart with the connivance of the Govern- 
ment 1 

At last, in the spring of 1637, the long-dreaded volume 
reached Scotland. In May every minister received orders to 
buy two copies on pain of outlawry. The bishops, 
it reaches though they had never consulted their synods on the 
preparation of the book, now called them together 
to urge them to obedience. Openly no word of resistance was 
heard. It was hard for a single minister to expose himself 
to certain ruin. But in private men spoke their minds more 
freely. The Book, they said, was more Popish than the 
English one. It had no authority either from Assembly or 
Parliament. The Scottish Puritan feeling and the Scottish 
national feeling were rising higher every day. 

It was hardly likely that the temper thus aroused would be 
suffered to die away for lack of leadership. Though, with one 
Temper of or two brilliant exceptions, the Scottish nobles of 
the nobility. t h at <jay were not remarkable for ability, they had 
the habit of authority which had long been lost by the English 
Peers, and they would ill brook the continuance of a system 
which placed the bishops above their heads. It is easy to 
speak of the zeal of men like Rothes and Loudoun as sheer 
hypocrisy. It is far more likely that they felt strongly in a 
direction in which it was their interest to feel strongly. Men 
of advanced age could indeed remember that the yoke of Pres- 
bytery had once been as heavy as the yoke of Episcopacy. Men 
who were even of middle age knew nothing of Presbyterianism 

1 BaillU, i. 4, 


except by report. They saw the bishops outvying them in 
the Royal favour, and reducing them to comparative insignifi- 
cance even on their own estates. Whatever religious feeling 
was in them had been nurtured through the old Calvinistic 
doctrine, and jealousy for the national honour of Scotland 
burnt in them as strongly as in their tenants and dependents. 

It is impossible to say with certainty what truth there may 
be in the story that a meeting in which some of the malcontent 
June. nobles took part with the leading clergy and a few 
meetm d at ^ ' tne devouter sex,' was held in Edinburgh for the 
Edinburgh, purpose of organising resistance. 1 Attachment to 
tried religious forms is always stronger in women than in men, 
and it may well be that some of the Edinburgh ladies stirred 
up the indignation of the fishwives and serving-women of the 
city. But no mistake would be greater than to imagine that 
they created the spirit which they directed. The insult to the 
Scottish nation and the Scottish Church was one to kindle re- 
sentment in the humble and the exalted alike. 

July 23 was at last fixed as the day on which the patience 

of the citizens of Edinburgh was to be put to the test, in the 

hope that the submission of the capital would fur- 

July 23. l 

The reading nish an example to the rest of the country. The con- 
30 ' fidence felt by the bishops received a rude shock. 
At St. Giles', recently erected into the Cathedral Church of the 
new diocese of Edinburgh, a large number of maid-servants 
were gathered, keeping seats for their mistresses, who were in 
the habit of remaining at home till prayers were over and the 
preacher was ready to ascend the pulpit. The Dean opened 
The tumult tne book and began to read. Shouts of disappro- 
in St. Giles', bation from the women drowned his voice. " The 
Mass," cried one, "is entered amongst us!" "Baal is in the 
church ! " called out another. Opprobrious epithets were 
applied to the Dean. Lindsay, the Bishop of Edinburgh, 
ascended the pulpit above the reading desk, and attempted 
to still the tumult. He begged the noisy zealots to desist from 

1 The story comes from Guthry's Memoirs, 23. It was written down 
after the Restoration, and is certainly inaccurate in its details. 

1637 THE SERVICE AT ST. GILES 1 . 315 

their profanation of holy ground. The words conveyed an idea 
which was utterly abhorrent to the Puritan mind, and the 
clamour waxed louder under the ill-judged exhortation. A 
stool aimed by one of the women at the Bishop all but grazed 
the head of the Dean. At this final insult Archbishop Spottis- 
woode called on the magistrates to clear the church of the 
rioters. The noisy champions of Protestantism were with 
much difficulty thrust into the streets, and the doors were 
barred in their faces. They did not cease to knock loudly 
from without, and to fling stones at the windows. Amidst the 
crash of broken glass, the service proceeded to the end. One 
woman, who had remained behind unnoticed, stopped her ears 
with her fingers to save herself from the pollution of the 
idolatrous worship, whilst she read her bible to herself. 
Suddenly she was roused by a loud Amen from a young man 
behind her. " False thief ! " she cried, dashing her bible in 
his face, " is there no other part of the kirk to sing Mass in, 
but thou must sing it in my lug ? " When the doors were at 
last thrown open, and the scanty congregation attempted to 
withdraw, the crowd outside dashed fiercely at the Bishop. 
But for the intervention of the Earl of Wemyss, he would 
hardly have escaped alive. 

Such Privy Councillors as could be hastily convened gave 
immediate orders to the magistrates to protect the afternoon 
The after- service. Guards were marched to the church, and a 
noon service. se j ect f ew were alone permitted to enter. Special 
directions were given that no woman should be allowed to 
pass the doors. The Earl of Roxburgh drove the Bishop home 
in his coach amidst a shower of stones. His footmen were 
obliged to draw their swords to keep off the mob. 1 

1 Setting aside later narratives, we have two contemporary accounts to 
rest on, one from the King's Large Declaration, the other, written in a 
violent Puritan spirit, printed in the Appendix to Rothes' Proceedings. 
On the whole they agree very well together. Both agree that only one 
stool was thrown. The tradition which names Teanie Gedcles as the 
heroine of the day has long been abandoned. See Burton's History of Scot- 
land, vi. 443. Long afterwards Wodrow stated that it was ' a constant 
believed tradition that it was Mrs. Mean, wife to John Mean, merchant,' 
I e. shopkeeper, ' of Edinburgh, that cast the first stool.' He thought that 


The next day the Council met. It can hardly be doubted 
that its lay members sympathised heartily with any kind of 
July 24. resistance to the bishops. Sir Thomas Hope, the 
SurJciT^ Lord Advocate, is said to have been one of those 
sir T.Hope, who instigated the disturbance. Lord Lome, the 
Lome. heir of the Catholic Earl of Argyle, a man of 
scheming brain and consummate prudence, is not likely to 
have gone so far. But he shared in the prevalent feeling, and 
had recently come to high words with the Bishop of Galloway 
on the subject of the imposition of fine and imprisonment 
on one of his followers by the High Commission. ' For the 
present, however, the guidance of affairs rested in the hands 
of the Lord Treasurer, the Earl of Traquair. In 
after times Traquair was accused of playing a double 
game. It is more probable that he had no sympathy with either 
party. A cool and wary man of business, immersed in the 
details of government, he fell a victim to his attempt to play 
the moderator in the impending collision of fanaticisms. He 
had opposed the bishops when they attempted to force their 
own ideas on an unwilling Church, especially as he had reason 
to believe that one of their number, Bishop Maxwell, was 
intriguing to supplant him as Treasurer of Scotland. But by 
instinct and position he disliked the domination of a mob, 
and especially of a mob with clerical backers. Such a man 
was capable of conveying words of common sense to Charles's 
ear, though it was most improbable that they would ever 
penetrate to his mind. 

The Council, in appearance at least, took instant measures 
to carry out the King's wishes. Six or seven of the rioters were 
Action of the arrested. The Edinburgh ministers were assured 
authorities. tnat tn y m jght read the prayers without danger, and 
the magistrates were ordered to protect them in so doing. As 
far as words could go, the Council had done its duty. Words, 

many stools were thrown, and that ' many of the lasses that carried on the 
fray were prentices in disguise, for they threw stools to a great length.' If 
so, the prentices must have been singularly incapable of taking a good aim 
at the Bishop's head. Gordon's account is a mere copy of the Declaration 
with a few additions. ' ai.'lu, i. 1 6. 


however, would not suffice. Some of the ministers had no 
wish to read the book, and those who were willing to read the 
book did not wish to risk being torn in pieces by the mob. 
They declared that they had no confidence in the power of 
the magistrates to preserve order, and it is not unlikely that 
most of the councillors were of the same opinion. At Spottis- 
woode's motion, both the old and the new forms of prayer 
were suspended in Edinburgh till the King's pleasure could be 
known. The sermons were to be delivered as usual. 1 

The King was not likely to be satisfied with such timidity. 
Of the difficulties of his representatives in Scotland he under- 
stood nothing. He ordered strict measures of re- 

Dissatisfac- . 1.1 TT r 1.1 

tionofthe pression to betaken. He forgot to inquire whether 
the Government had force enough at its disposal to 
enable it to carry out his orders. As soon as the magistrates 
attempted to do as they were bidden they found that the 
rioters had all Edinburgh at their backs. The Privy Council 
gave to the magistrates but a lukewarm support. Its lay 
members threw the blame on the bishops. The bishops threw 
it back on the laymen. Laud, writing by the King's 
i.aud's view orders, distributed it equally between both. He 
iccase. scou t e( j fa e j(j ea o f abandoning the Prayer Book 
because a band of secret conspirators had hounded on an 
unruly mob against it. " It was unworthy of the bishops," he 
said, " to disclaim the book as their own. It was their work, 
and it was for them to support it." " Will they now," he added, 
" cast down the milk they have given because a few milkmaids 
have scolded at them ? I hope they will be better advised." 2 

It was easy to write thus in the safe privacy of Lambeth : 

but it was hard to obey the command at Edinburgh. The 

magistrates stated plainly that no one would read 

August 19. 

Failure to the service on any conditions. They had offered a 
enforce the j ar g e sum o f mon ey to anyone who would do so, 
orders. | 3ut none ^ad been found sufficiently hardy to accept 
the offer. 3 

1 Baillie, i. 18, 447. Gordon, Hist, of Scots Affairs, i. 12. 

2 Laud to Traquair, Aug. 7, Works, vi. 493. 

* The Magistrates to Laud, Aug. 19, Large Declaration, 28. 


The viragoes of St. Giles' were backed by the population 
of Edinburgh. If Edinburgh were backed by Scotland Charles 
would have work enough before him. A threat of outlawing 
the ministers who had refused to purchase their two copies of 
the Prayer Book put the feeling of the country clergy to the 
test Petitions drawn up in due legal form began to drop in 
upon the Council. The only one which has reached 

Aug. 23. r * 

Henderson's us was drawn up by Alexander Henderson, Minister 
of Leuchars. Its wording carried the controversy 
out of the region of passion into the region of argument. 
Henderson descended into the strife as a champion worthy of 
a great cause. He had not leapt forward impatiently to testify 
his displeasure at the proceedings of the bishops. He had 
not been hasty to judge the practice of kneeling at the Com- 
munion as altogether evil. The time had now come when it 
behoved every honourable man who believed, as he believed, 
in the old Scottish creed, to lift up his voice on behalf of his 
Church and nation. Henderson would not be the more likely 
to hang back in the end, because his protest was studiously 
moderate now. He did not say, as so many others were 
saying, that the new Prayer Book was actually Popish, but he 
professed his readiness to argue that it contained matters ' far 
from the form and worship and reformation ' of the ' Kirk,' 
and ' drawing near in material points to the Church of Rome* 
It was not in this reasoning, however, that the main stress of 
his argument lay. The old form of worship, he said, had been 
recognised by Assembly and Parliament. The new form of 
worship had been recognised by neither. Further, the Church 
of Scotland was free and independent. Its own pastors knew 
best what was suitable to their people, who ' would be found 
unwilling to the change when they should be assayed.' ' 

In these sober words Henderson raised a standard of re 
sistance for the Scottish people. He did not plead 
Henderson's the cause of Presbyterianism against Episcopacy. 
He simply announced that the religion of a people 
was under its own guardianship. 

Charles was in a great strait. Humiliating as it would have 
1 Supplication, Baillie, i. 449. 


been if his authority in Scotland had alone been at stake, a 
frank acknowledgment of his mistake would doubt- 

Charles . 

cannot draw less have been his wisest course. The shock which 
his authority would receive could not, however, be 
limited to Scottish ground. What was true in Scotland was 
also true in England, and the artificial edifice of the Laudian 
Church would feel the blow struck at the house of cards which 
had been built up beyond the Tweed. Nor was it easy to 
persuade Charles that the riot in Edinburgh had been a 
genuine result of popular indignation. He saw in it only the 
concealed hands of the angry nobles, grasping at Church lands 
and at the dignities worthily accorded to men who were better 
than themselves. 

How was Charles to procure obedience in Scotland ? 
Military force he had none, and the Scottish Council was likely 
Aug. 23. to yield him but a half-hearted support, even if it 
Ide e s no"" '' yielded him any support at all. Only in five or six 
support him. places was the Prayer Book read. When Henderson 
appeared before the Council he was accompanied by a crowd 
of gentry. Letters which poured in from distant parts left no 
doubt that the feeling in his favour was not confined to the 
neighbourhood of the capital. Even if the Council had been 
willing to take severe measures, it would have been helpless tc 
overcome resistance. Henderson was told that he had been 
ordered to buy the books, not to read them. "We 
The"if letter found ourselves," wrote the Council to Charles, " fai 
to the Kmg. ^y QUr ex p ec t a tions surprised with the clamours and 
fears of your Majesty's subjects from almost all the parts and 
corners of the kingdom, and that even of those who otherways 
had heretofore lived in obedience and conformity to your 
Majesty's laws, both in ecclesiastical and civil business, and 
thus we find it so to increase that \ve conceive it to be a matter 
of high consequence in respect of the general murmur and 
grudge in all sorts of people for urging of the practice of the 
Service Book, as the like hath not been heard in this kingdom." 
They could therefore only leave it to his Majesty, 'in the 
deepness of his Royal judgment, to provide a remedy.' l 

1 Act of Council, Aug. 25. The Scottish Council to the King, Baiilu, 


Charles had no remedy to provide. He sent back a scold- 
ing answer, in which he found fault with everyone except him- 
Sept 12. se ^' ano - or dered the immediate enforcement of the 
Charles's use of the Prayer Book. No magistrates were to be 
allowed to hold office in any borough who would not 
give their support to the new service. 1 

In Edinburgh a few partisans of Charles's ecclesiastical 

system were still to be found amongst the official class. Sir 

Sept. 18. John Hay, the Clerk Register, was thrust as Provost 

The new upon the unwilling townsmen. Nowhere else was 

Provost of 

Edinburgh, such an arrangement possible. " If it were urged," 
wrote Baillie, "we could have in all our towns no magistrates 
at all, or very contemptible ones." 2 Those ministers who in any 
General re- place tried to read the book were roughly handled, 
sistance especially by the women. When the Council met 
to take the King's last letter into consideration, it was evident 
that nothing could be done to carry out his orders. Petitions 
poured in from every quarter. Twenty noblemen, with a crowd 
of gentlemen and ministers in their train, appeared 
to enforce by their presence the language of the 
petitions. 3 The Council could but assure Charles that they 
had done their best, sending him, at the same time, the 
petitions, sixty-eight in number, for his perusal. 4 

Before long there was worse news to be told. The new 

Provost had attempted to hinder the town from sending in a 

Sept. 25. petition against the Prayer Book. An angry mob 

Second riot burst into the Tolbooth, where the Town Council 

in Edin- 
burgh. W as in session. "The Book," they shouted, "we 

will never have." They forced the magistrates to promise that 
the petition should be sent. This second entry of the mob 
upon the scene shocked some even of those who had no love 
for the bishops "What shall be the event," wrote Baillie, 
" God knows. There was in our land never such an appear- 

i. 449, 451. Traquair to Hamilton, Aug. 27. Burnet, Lives of the Duktt 
of Hamilton, ii. 18. 

1 The King to the Council, Sept. 12, Baillie, i. 452. 

4 Ib^d. i. 25. ' Rothes, 7. Baillie, i. 33. 

* The Council to the King, Sept. 20,' 'Baillie, i. 453. 


ance of a stir. The whole people thinks Popery at the doors 
. . . No man may speak anything in public for the King's 
part, except he would have himself marked for a sacrifice to 
be killed one day. I think our people possessed with a bloody 
devil, far above anything that ever I could have imagined, 
though the Mass in Latin had been presented. The ministers 
who have the command of their mind do disavow their un- 
Christian humour, but are no ways so zealous against the devil 
of their fury as they are against the seducing spirit of the 
Bishops." 1 

If such was the language of a Scottish minister, what must 
have been Charles's indignation ? The courtiers at Whitehall 
Persistence might persuade themselves that but for Laud's inter- 
of Charles, ference he would have given way. 2 It is far more 
likely that, whether Laud had been there or not, he would have 
persisted in the course which he believed to be the course of 
duty. " I mean to be obeyed," were the words which rose to 
his lips when he was interrogated as to his intentions. 3 

Even Charles, however, could see that he could not expect 

to be obeyed at once. He must postpone, he wrote, his answer 

Oct. 9 . on the main subject of the petitions. For the present, 

S>ns d to e the tnere fb re > the Council were to do nothing in the 

Council. matter of religion ; but they must try to punish the 

ringleaders of the late disturbances, and they must order all 

. strangers to leave Edinburgh on pain of outlawry. 4 

and the Another letter directed the removal of the Council 

Session tobe and the Court of Session first to Linlithgow, and 

afterwards to Dundee. 5 

If Charles had had no more than a riot to deal with, it 
would have been well that the offending city should learn that 
the lucrative presence of the organs of government and justice 

1 Baillie, i. 23. 

2 Correr to the Doge, Sept. 'J 

25, ct. 2 

1 Con to Barberini, Oct. ^, Add. MSS. 15,390, fol. 453. 

* The King to the Council, Oct. 9, Balfotu; ii. 23. 

* This letter has not been preserved, but is referred to in a subsequent 



could' only be secured "by submission to the law. "Because he 
had more than a riot-to deal with, his blow recoiled on himself. 
H,e had chosen to fling a defiance in the face of the Scottish- 
nation, and he must take the consequences. . 
.;.-. When; these letters arrived in Edinburgh the petitioners) 
had returned to their homes, not expecting so speedy an answer.; 
Johnston of But they had 'eft behind the shrewdest of lawyers, 
Warriston. Archibald Johnston of Warriston, and Johnston at 
-oit. i - - onpe S ave the alarm., On October 17 they were back 
Theprocia- again, black-gowned ministers and gay noblemen, 
manor*. . . waitmg for what m ight. befall. "In the evening the 
substance of the King's prders was proclaimed from that Market 
Cross ' where, according to legend, a ghostly visitant had taken 
his stand to summon .Charles's ancestor from the field of 
Flodden to the judgment-seat of G6d. The simple officer 
who read the formal words of the proclamation was as truly 
the ^messenger 0f ill- to Charles. He was pointing to the track 
which led. to the battle-field, the prison, and the scaffold. 

The next morning all Edinburgh was astir. The city had 

not, like London, an independent commercial life of its own^ 

Oct. 18, To lose the Council and the Court of Session was to 

TV third dwindle to the insignificance of a provincial town. 

not 'at tdm- r 

burgh. The inhabitants, whose very means of livelihood was 
at. stake, raved against the bishops as the cause of the mischief. 
Bishop Sydserf, of Galloway, who was : /.reported to wear a 
crucifix beneath his dress;. was driven by .'an angry crowd to 
Jake refuge in the council house. Another crowd surrounded 
the magistrates, and insisted on their joining in a protest. The 
magistrates, glad to escape with their lives, did all that was 
required. The mob still thronged the streets, shouting, "God 
defend all Jhose who will defend God's cause, and God confound 
the service book and all the maintainers of it." Traquair came 
out to quell the tumult. Hustled and thrown down,' he 
struggled back with loss of hat and cloak, as Well as of" his 
white rod of office. Sydserf was still a prisoner in the council 
house. The Provost declared that he was unable to help him, 

.-:;::- vi.; :. :i '. ~vv;.- .,.../ l _ . ' ... t iv. -.;. i :.-.;; ..' :-'. 

1 Proclamations, Oct. I J, Large Defloration, 33. ' I 


No one else Ventured: to move a finger in his behalf. One 
course, dishonourable 1 as, it was, remained to be tried. The 
noblemen and gentry who had been ordered the day before tp 
leave Edinburgh were sitting in consulation on the best way of 
opposing the King's. orders. To them the King's Council sent, 
.begging them to use their influence with the enraged multitude. 
What the King's representatives were powerless to effect^ his 
opponents did with, the greatest ease. The Lord Provost of 
Edinburgh and the whole body of the Privy Council, including 
the fugitive bishop, only reached their homes under the pro- 
tection of the men who were treated as rebels by their master. ' 

Forty-one years earlier, Charles's father had quelled a Pres- 
Contrast bytcrian riot by the removal of the Council and the 
chTr^rand Court of Session from Edinburgh. He had been 
his father. aD i e to do so because he had the nobility and the 
country at large on his side. The men who guarded his coun- 
cillors through the streets were no longer as their fathers had 
been on the side of the King against the capital. 

The reply of the petitioners was a general supplication, in 
which the bishops were pointed at as the authors of the calami- 
The General ties of the Church. Charles was asked to allow them 
Supplication. to b e p ut on theij- trial, and, as they were now parties 
in the case, to prohibit them from sitting in the Council as judges 
of matters relating to the present dispute. 2 

The petitioners had thus changed their defence into an 

attack. Not we, they said in effect, but the bishops are the 

breakers of the law. The demand that the bishops 

Thepetition- . . . 

ers assume should not be judges in their own case was the same 
as that which, four months before, had been received 
with derision when it proceeded from the lips of Bastwick in 
the English Star Chamber. In the heat of discussion before 
the Council, Bishop Sydserf and Sir John Hay threw out a 
suggestion which had unexpected consequences. Why should 
not the mass of the petitioners return home, leaving behind a 

1 Rothes, 19. Large Declaration, 35. Gordon again simply borrows 
from the Declaration. It is quite a mistake to treat him, as Mr. Burton 
does, as an original authority for these events. 

* Large Declaration, 42. 

Y 2 


few of their number to speak in their name ? The petitioners 
took them at their word. They chose a body of 
commission? commissioners from amongst themselves. From 
ers- that moment, if the nation rallied roun'd the new 

commissioners, it would have a government, and that govern- 
ment would not be the King's. There were no more riots in: 
Edinburgh. 1 

1 Rothes, 17. Baillie, 35, 38. 




To a man of practical instincts, like Traquair, the outlook in 
Scotland, after the nomination of the popular commissioners, 
was indeed pitiable. " I am in all things," he wrote, 
Traquair's " left alone, and, God is my witness, never so per- 
proposai. pi exe d what to do. Shall I give way to this people's 
fury, which, without force and the strong hand, cannot be 
opposed ? " It was hard for him to believe that a compromise 
was no longer possible. Why, he asked Rothes, could they 
not agree to accept the English Prayer Book as it stood ? 
Rothes would not hear of it, and the resolution of Rothes was 
the resolution of his countrymen. 1 

On November 15, the petitioners returned to Edinburgh. 
Their commissioners, hastily chosen, were to give way to a 
NOV. 15. more permanent body, composed of six or more 
?/fhe n com n n blemen, two gentlemen from each shire, one towns- 
missbners. ma n from each borough, and one minister from each 
presbytery. Traquair, seeing that authority was slipping out 
of his hands, remonstrated warmly ; but Sir Thomas Hope, the 
Presbyterian Lord Advocate, gave an opinion that the peti- 
tioners were acting within their rights, and further opposition 
was impossible. 2 

In the persons of the commissioners, Scotland waited, not 
impatiently, for an answer. If Charles could frankly abandon 
the Service Book, as Elizabeth had once abandoned the mo- 
nopolies, he might, perhaps, have saved some fragments of 

1 Traquair to Hamilton, Oct. 19, Hard-Mukt S. P. U. 95. fiotfcr, 22 

* Ibid. 23. 


authority for the bishops. He could not even make up his 
mind to announce his intentions plainly. On I)e- 

Scotland . , . . ,,-,, , 

waits for an cember /, a proclamation issued at Linlithgow, where 

the Council, in obedience to the King, was now 

Dec- ? sitting, declared that, on account of the riots at 

The procla- _,,.... . . . , , . 

mation at Edinburgh, the answer to the supplication would be 

Linlithgo*. ad to say 

abhorred Popery, and would consent -to nothing which did not 
tend to the advancement of the true religion as it was ' pre- 
sently professed"' in Scotland. "Nothing,-" the proclamation 
ended by saying, " is or was intended to be done therein against, 
{ he laudable laws of this His Majesty's native kingdom." 1 ". 

Scotsmen had made up their minds with almost complete 

unanimity that those laudable laws had been broken. In vain 

Dec. 21. Traquair begged that the King should be pro- 

^doih^d 1 ' Plated. Tne deputation from the City of Edinburgh 

Declinator, might wait on him at Whitehall, ' offering, him their 

charter and the keys of their gates,' as a mere matter of course. 2 

The commissioners would not' hear of the suggestion. 3 

It must be settled once for all, whether it was in 

accordance with the law of Scotland that a king could change 

the forms of worship without the sanction of any legislative 

assembly whatever. 

At last, on December 21, a copy of the General Supplication 
which had been drawn up in October, was formally handed in 
Dec. ai. by the commissioners to the Privy Council, accom- 
againstthe panied by a. formal demand that the case between 
b '^P sre " themselves and the bishops might be judicially de- 
the Council, termined, and that the bishops might in the mean- 
while be removed from the Council. 

Before long, Charles sent for Traquair, to hear from his 
own mouth his opinion on the state of affairs in Scotland. It 

1638. would have been well if he had more seriously a't- 
t ende( j t o jh a t coo i an( j dispassionate adviser. The 

i raquair in 

jxmdon. Lord Treasurer assured him that the Scottish people 
had no wish to cast off his authority, but that they would not 

1 Proclamation, Dec. 7, Large Declaration, 46. 8 Rotkes, 43. 

* Bill and Declinator, Dec. 21, ibid. 50. 


look on idly whilst their religion was assailed..- Above all, they 
were proud, of their ancient independence, and they would hot 
take orders from the Archbishop of Canterbury. 1 His Majesty 
must plainly understand that, if he wished the new Prayer 
Book to be read in Scotland, he must support it with an army 
of 40,000 men. 

To withdraw the Service Book and to assert his civil autho- 
rity was the substance of this advice. Charles listened, but 
was not convinced. Traquair was sent back with orders to 
issue a proclamation which was virtually a declaration of war. 4 

That proclamation was read on February 19, in the streets of 

Stirling, where the Council, after leaving Linlithgow, had been 

allowed to take up its quarters, rather than in the 

- Feb. 19.- 

The. King's more distant Dundee. Charles truly asserted that 
the Prayer he, and not the bishops, was responsible for the 
issue of the Prayer Book. " As much," he said, " as 
we, out of our princely care of maintenance of the true religion 
already professed, and for beating down of all superstition, 
having ordained a Book of Common Prayer tto be compiled for 
the general use and edification of our subjects within our 
ancient kingdom of Scotland, the sarrie was accordingly done, 
in the performing whereof we took great care and pains so as 
nothing passed, therein but what was seen and approved by us, 
before the same was either divulged or printed, assuring all our 
loving subjects that not only our intention is, but even the very 
book will be a, ready means to maintain the true religion al- 
ready professed, and beat out all superstition, of which we in 
our time do not doubt but in a fair course to satisfy our good 
subjects." His Royal authority, he proceeded to say, was 
much impaired by the petitions and declarations which had 

1 Zonca to the Doge, Jan. *$, Feb. "' ^ eb '' 3 -, Vat. Transcripts, R> O. 

* -r.; 29 12, March 5' 

2 "Your Lordship can best witness how unwilling I was that our 
master should have directed such a proclamation ; and I had too just 
grounds to foretell the danger and inconveniences which are now like to 
ensue thereupon." Traquair to Hamilton, M.irch 5, Hardwirke S. P. ii. 
-loi. Mr. Burton must have overlooked- this passage when he wrote that 
the proclamation was '.too nearly in the .tone of the adviee which Traquair 
had given.' Hilt, of Scotland, yi. 477. 


been sent to him. All who had taken part in them were liable 
to ' high censure, both in their persons and their fortunes,' as 
having convened themselves without his permission. He was, 
however, ready to pass over their fault, provided that they 
returned home at once, and abstained from all further meet- 
ings. If they disobeyed, he should hold them liable to the 
penalties of treason. 1 

Charles could not see why, if the Prayer Book had satisfied 
himself, it should not satisfy others. The objection that it 
The Protes- ^ad no legal authority he treated with contemptuous 
tation. disregard. All the more tenaciously did the Scottish 
leaders cling to legal forms. As soon as the herald had finished 
his task, Johnston stepped forward to protest against the pro- 
clamation in their name. They treated it as the work of the 
Council alone, and announced that from that body they would 
accept no orders as long as the bishops retained their places 
in it. They demanded to have recourse to their ' sacred sove- 
reign, to present their grievances and in a legal way to pro- 
secute the same before the ordinary competent judges, civil or 
ecclesiastical.' 2 

If this appeal to the law was to have any weight with Charles, 
it must be supported by an appeal to the nation. Rothes, who 
Rothes's h a d been placed by his energy and decision at the 
circular. head of the movement, despatched a circular letter 
to the gentlemen who had not hitherto supported the cause, 
urging them to lose no time in giving in their adhesion. The 
next step was to complete the work of organisation. The 
The Tables commissioners appointed in November had been 
set up. found too large a body to act as a central authority. 
From time to time a select committee had been appointed to 
communicate with the Council, and that committee had been 
naturally selected from the different classes of which the nation 
was composed. Four separate committees were now appointed ; 
one formed of all noblemen who might choose to attend, the 
other three of four gentlemen, four ministers, and four borough 
representatives respectively. These committees might meet 

1 Proclamation, Feb. 19, Large Declaration, 48. 
z Protestation, Feb. 19, ibid. 50. 

1638 THE TABLES. 329 

either separately or as one body. Sometimes to them, and 

sometimes to the larger body of the commissioners, the name 

of The Tables was given, in the popular language of the day. ' 

These committees might form an unauthorised Government, 

and the commissioners an unauthorised Parliament ; but unless 

Feb: 23. more were done, they would speak in their own name 

An appeal to a i one . Even Rothes's circular had been directed 

the nation 

necessary. on iy to the upper classes. It was necessary to touch 
the multitude. The thousands to whom it was a matter of in- 
difference whether the Church were ruled by bishops or by 
presbyters, had been deeply wounded by the threatened inter- 
ference with their worship. The plan by which their inarticulate 
dissatisfaction was converted into a definite force was suggested 
by Archibald Johnston. 

In the days in which life and property had found no security 
from the law, the nobility and gentry of Scotland had been in 
Proposal to tne habit of entering into ' bands ' or obligations for 
cove^a'ntof mutua ^ protection. In 1581, when the country was 
'581 threatened by a confederacy of Catholic noblemen 

at home, supported by a promise of assistance from Spain, 
James had called on all loyal subjects to enter into such a 
'band' or covenant. Those who had signed this covenant 
pledged themselves to renounce the Papal doctrines, to submit 

1 The question of the exact meaning of The Tables is not easy to an- 
swer. Row (Hist, of the Kirk, 486) speaks of the Commissioners by this 
name. Gordon, who is followed by Mr. Burton, confuses the Commis- 
sioners with the Committees. The Large Declaration puts the appointment 
of The Tables at this date, limiting the number of the noblemen to four. 
I follow Kothes, in whose Relation the gradual development of The Tables 
can be traced. The Commissioners were chosen on Nov. 15 (p. 23*. On 
Nov. 16 thirteen were solicited to wait on the Council (p. 26). On the 
i8th six of the gentry and some representatives of the boroughs remained 
in Edinburgh (p. 32). In December six or seven noblemen met with four 
out of each of the other classes to hold communication with the Council 
(p. 34). On Dec. 19 we hear of only twelve performing this office (p. 38). 
On Feb. 22 we are told, ' there was one Committee chosen of four barons, 
four boroughs, and four ministers, to join with the noblemen,' the number 
not being specified (p. 69). This seems to have been the ultimate form 
taken. At one imooriant meeting on June 9 (p. 146) there were six 
noblemen present. 


to the discipline of the Scottish Church, and &> 'defend the 
same according to their vocation and power. ' ; Johnston and 
Henderson were now entrusted with the composition of addi- 
tions to this covenant appropriate to the actual circumstances, 
in order that the whole might be sent round to be subscribed 
by all who wished to throw in their lot with the resistance of 
the upper classes. As soon as Johnston and Henderson had 
.. ..-.'.) j ; completed their work it was revised by Rothes, 

Feb. 27. 

Loudoun, and Balmerino, and on the 2;th it was 
laid before the .two or three hundred ministers who happened 
to be in Edinburgh at the time. 1 ' v . 

: The additions proposed consisted in the first place of a long 
string of -citations of Acts of Parliament passed in the days oi 

Presbyterian ascendency. To touch the heart of the 
tiohs to the people, something more than this was needed. "We," 
**"'. so ran the words which were soon to be sent forth 
to every cottage in the lahd, " NoWernen, Barons, Gentlemen, 
Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons' undersubscribing, con- 
sidering divers times before, and especially at this time, the 
danger of the true reformed religion, 'of ihe King's honour, and 
of the public peace of the kingdom^ by the manifold innova- 
tions and evils generally contained and particularly mentioned 
in our late supplications, complaints, and protestations, do 
hereby profess, and before God, His angels, arid the world, 
solemnly declare that with our whole hearts we agree and re- 
solve all the days of our life constantly to adhere unto arid to 
defend the foresaid true religion, and forbearing the practice 
of all novations already introduced in the matters of the worship 
of God, or approbation of the corruptions of the public govern- 
ment of. the kirk or civil places and powers of kirkmen, till 
they be tried and allowed in the Assemblies and in Parliaments 
to labour by all means lawful to recover the purity and 
liberty of the Gospel, as it was established and professed before 
the foresaid novations. And because, after due examination, we 
plainly perceive, and undoubtedly believe, that the innovations 
and evils contained in our supplications, complaints, and pro 

*.!., ..>.. . - i-J-* .,. i. '---, - .- - ''-' 

1 Rothes, 69. 

i38' ^^ APPEAL TO- HEAVEN, v 331 

testatiohs, have no warrant in the Word of God, are contrary 
to the articles of the foresaid confessions, to the intention and 
meaning of the blessed reformers of religion; in this land, to the 
above-written Acts ;of Parliament, and do. -sensibly tend to the 
re-establishing of the Popish religion and .tyranny, and to the 
Subversion and ruin of the true reformed religion and of our 
liberties, laws, and estates; we also declare that the foresaid 
confessions are to be interpreted and ought to be understood 
of the foresaid novations and evils, no less than if every one of 
them had been expressed in; the foresaid confessions, and that 
we are obliged to detest and abhor them amongst other par-, 
ticular heads of papistry abjured therein'; and therefore from 
the knowledge and conscience of our duty to God, to our King 
and country, without any worldly respect ior inducement, so far 
as human infirmity will suffer, wishing a further measure of the 
grace of God for this effect, we promise and swear, by the great 
name of the Lord 'oar God, to continue in the profession 
and obedience of -the foresaid religion, that we shall defend 
the same and resist all these contrary errors and corruptions, 
according to our vocation, and to the uttermost of .that power 
that God hath put in our hands all the days of our life ; and 
in like manner with the same heart, we declare before God 
and men that we' have no intention nor desire to attempt any- 
thing that may turn to the dishonour of God, or to the diminu- 
tion of the King's greatness and authority; but, on the contrary, 
we promise and swear that we shall, to the uttermost of our 
power with our means and lives, stand to the defence of out 
dread Sovereign, the King's Majesty, his person and authority, 
in the defence of the foresaid true religion, liberties, and laws 
of the kingdom, as also to : the mutual defence and assistance,: 
every one of us of another in the same cause of maintaining 
the true religion and his Majesty's authority, with our best 
counsel, our bodies, means, and whole power, against all sorts 
of persons whatsoever ; so that whatsoever shall be done to the 
least of us for that cause shall be taken as done to us all in 
general and to every one- of us in particular ; ;and-that we shall 
neither directly nor indirectly suffer ourselves to be divided or 
withdrawn by whatsoever suggestion, combination, allurement, 


or terror from this blessed and loyal conjunction, nor shall cast 
in any let or impediment that may stay or hinder any such re- 
solution, as by common consent be found to conduce for so 
good ends ; but, on the contrary, shall by all lawful means 
labour to further and promote the same, and if any such dan- 
gerous and divisive motion be made to us by word or writ, we 
and every one of us shall either suppress it, or if need be shall 
incontinent make the same known, that it may be timeously 
obviated ; neither do we fear the foul aspersions of rebellion, 
combination, or what else our adversaries from their craft 
and malice would put upon us, seeing what we do is so well 
warranted and ariseth from an unfeigned desire to maintain 
the true worship of God, the majesty of our King, and the 
peace of the kingdom for the common happiness of ourselves 
and our posterity ; and because we cannot look for a blessing 
from God upon our proceedings, except with our profession 
and subscription we join such a life and conversation as be- 
seemeth Christians who have renewed their covenant with God 
we therefore faithfully promise for ourselves, our followers, and 
all others under us, both in public, in our particular families 
and personal carriage, to endeavour to keep ourselves within 
the bounds of Christian liberty, and to be good examples to 
others of all godliness, soberness, and righteousness, and of 
every duty we owe to God and man ; and that this our union 
and conjunction may be observed without violation, we call the 
living God, the searcher of our hearts, to witness, who knoweth 
this to be our sincere desire and unfeigned resolution, as we 
shall answer to Jesus Christ in the great day and under the 
pain of God's everlasting wrath, and of infamy and of loss of all 
honour and respect in this world ; most humbly beseeching 
the Lord to strengthen us by His Holy Spirit for this end, and 
to bless our desires and proceedings with a happy success, that 
religion and righteousness may flourish in the land, to the 
glory of God, the honour of our King, and peace and comfort 
of us all." 1 

The Covenant thus worded was cheerfully accepted by the 

1 Large Declaration, 57* 


ministers to whom it was proposed. 1 On the 28th it was carried 
to the Grey Friars' Church, to which all the gentle- 

TheCove- ' . 

nant signed men present m Edinburgh had been summoned. 
biUi/andf Henderson and another minister named Dickson, 

who was even more enthusiastic than himself, were 
prepared to give satisfaction to all who expressed doubt Few 
came forward to criticise, and those few were easily persuaded. 
At four o'clock in the grey winter evening, the noblemen, the 
Earl of Sutherland leading the way, began to sign. Then came 

the gentlemen, one after the other, till nearly eight. 
b>- the The next day the ministers were called on to testify 
clergy ; {heir approval, and nearly three hundred signatures 
were obtained before night. The commissioners of the boroughs 
signed at the same time. 2 

On the third day the people of Edinburgh were called on 
to attest their devotion to the cause which was represented by 

the Covenant. Tradition long loved to tell how the 
and by the honoured parchment, carried back to the Grey Friars, 

was laid out on a tombstone in the churchyard, 
whilst weeping multitudes pressed round in numbers too great 
to be contained in any building. There are moments when 
the stern Scottish nature breaks out into an enthusiasm . less 
passionate, but more enduring, than the frenzy of a Southern 
race. As each man and woman stepped forward in turn, with 
the right hand raised to heaven before the pen was grasped, 
everyone there present knew that there would be no flinching 
amongst that band of brothers till their religion was safe from 
intrusive violence. 3 

Modern narrators may well turn their attention to the 
picturesqueness of the scene, to the dark rocks of the Castle 
crag over against the churchyard, and to the earnest faces 
around. The men of the seventeenth century had no thought 
to spare for the earth beneath or for the sky above. What they 

1 Kothes, 71. * Ibid. 79. 

J The general signature is not described in contemporary accounts. 
The 28th and 1st were too fully occupied, and I have therefore assigned it 
to the 2nd, though there is no direct evidence about the date. 


saw was their country's faith trodden under foot, what they felt 
was the joy of those who had been long led astray, and had now 
.returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls; 

No one in Scotland had so much reason as Traquair to 
regret the King's ill-advised persistency. " Many things have 
Feb 28 been complained on," he wrote on the first day of 
fraquair's signature ; "but the Service Book, which they con- 
ceive by this proclamation, and the King's taking the 
same upon himself, to be in effect of new ratified, is that which 
troubles than most ; and truly, in my judgment, it shall be as 
easy to establish the Missal in this kingdom as the Service 
Book, as it is conceived. The not urging the present practice 
thereof does no way satisfy them, because they conceive that 
what is done in the delaying thereof is but only to prepare 
things the better for the urging of the same at a more con- 
venient time ; and, believe me, as yet I see not a probability 
of power within this kingdom to force them ; and whoever has 
informed the King's Majesty otherwise, either of the Book 
itself or of the disposition of the subjects to obey his Majesty's 
commandments, it is high time every man be put to make 
good his own part." * 

Such views were not confined to Traquair. Spottiswoode, 
March i. speaking on behalf of the bishops, avowed to the 
Council that peace was hopeless unless the Service 
Book were openly withdrawn. The Council itself 

and b? the' was ^ ^ same opinion, and they despatched one of 
goijqcii. .( their number to the King to implore him to listen to 
the grievances of his subjects, and to suspend all those orders 
which* had given rise to the late disturbances. 2 

It is hardly likely that even .the promptest acceptance of 
this advice would now have appeased the Scottish nation. The 
An Assembly Covenant had appealed to Assembly and Parliament 
*ltit P S lla as the legal basis of the national religion, and no mere 
manded, withdrawal of the obnoxious orders would any longer 
suffice. An .Assembly and Parliament must meet to pronounce 
flibse orders to have been utterly and scandalously illegal. 

1 Traquair, to, Hamilton, Feb. 28^ Hard-wicke S. P. ii. 99. 

Extracts from the Register of the Privy Council, Baiilie, i. 458. 

1638 TME-.^L'AM-JE: THROWN ON LAUD. 335 

/;. Even 1 the lesser' demand, of the Council met with- appa- 
rently, insuperable resistance in Charles's mind. He knew 

well that it was not the fortune of Scotland only 
reluctance which was/ involved in his decision. Englishmen 
way> about him, he believed, in all probability with truth, 
were already in correspondence with the Northern malcontents, 
and were hoping that the example which had been set at Edin- 
burgh might one day be followed in London. His Scottish 
servants were not lacking in sympathy with, their countrymen/ 
March n ^ ne P r exarn pte was made. Archie Armstrong,- 
Arctic Arm- the King's-fool, railed at Laud in his .cups as a monk, 
felted from a rogue, and. a traitor.. Laud was unwise enough to 

complain to the King. The unlucky jester was called 

before the Council, sentenced to have his coat pulled OVer.his 

March I7 . ears, to be discharged from the King's servipe, and 

Archie to be sent before the Star Chamber for further punish- 

excused a 

flogging. ment. The Star ; .Chamber would probably .have 
ordered him to be soundly, flogged, but Laud at last inter- 
fered, and. Archie escaped the lash. ' 

Others besides Archie bore ill-will to Laud as the adviser 
of the King's refusal to content the Scots. The English 
Privy Councillors protested that they were not re- 

cminciiiors sponsib.le for conduct on which their advice : had 
bian^e on not beefi asked. Charles was only annoyed at their 
evident belief that he-had been acting under Laud's 
dictation. In an angry voice, he assured the Council that he 
had never taken -the advice of any Englishman in the affairs of 
Scotland. 2 .; :; 

... It needs no proof to show that Charles's policy of pro- 
crastination, was indeed his own. Week 'after week 

The King s . 

procrastina- pa'ssed away, with no resolution taken. The Cove^ 

nanters were not so remiss. By the end of April 

\rellnigh the whole of Scotland had rallied to their cause. In 

1 Council Register, March II, 17. Garrard to Wentworth, March 20, 
Straffcrd Letters, iu 152. RitsHworth, ii. 47. 

Zonca's despatches, ^g.^' 3 , Ven. TraMrcn\M, R. O. 


every town, in every village, in every secluded nook, the most 
April. influential landowners, the most eloquent preachers 
of the'cove- werc reac ty to P our tne ^ r arguments into willing ears, 
nant. M o doubt, as in every such movement, much is to 

be laid to the account of the excellence of the organisation 
provided by its leaders. Much of the reasoning used would 
hardly bear the test of a critical examination. Charles's 
Service Book certainly did not deserve all the hard things that ' 
were said of it. None the less was the resistance of Scotland 
the result of a determination to be true to the motto of the 
Scottish Thistle. Scotland has never at any time distinguished 
itself as the originator of new ideas in religion or government ; 
but it has ever shown itself to be possessed of the most indis- 
pensable quality of a hardy and vigorous people, the deter mi na- 
The Scottish ti n to be itself, and not what external force might 
resistance, choose to make it. The Scottish nation had done 
well to pay a heavy price in the thirteenth century for its politi- 
cal independence. It did well in the seventeenth century to 
pay a heavy price for its ecclesiastical independence. For the 
sake of that, it renounced the wide sympathies of the cultured 
intellect, and hardened its heart like a flint against all forms of 
spiritual religion which did not accord with the fixed dogmatic 
teaching which it had borrowed from Geneva. Calvinism had 
but scant regard for the liberty of the individual conscience. 
Its preachers felt themselves called upon to set forth the un- 
alterable law, and the law which they preached came back to 
them in the voice of their congregations. In the many there 
was no sense of any restriction placed by the system upon 
themselves. To the few it became an insupportable tyranny a 
tyranny which would be more than ordinarily felt in the hours of 
danger through which the nation was then passing. To reject the 
Treatment of Covenant was not merely to differ in belief from the 
refund to multitude ; it was to be a traitor to the country, to 
"" be ready to help on the foreign invasion which would 

soon be gathering in the South. Those who still held out were 
met with dark looks and threatening gestures. " The greate; 
that the number of subscribents grew," we hear from one who 
remembered that lime well, " the more imperious they were in 


exacting subscriptions from others who refused to subscribe, 
so that by degrees they proceeded to contumelies and re- 
proaches, and some were threatened and beaten who durst 
refuse, especially in the greatest cities as likewise in other 
smaller towns namely, at Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Glasgow, 
Lanark, and many other places. Gentlemen and noblemen 
carried copies of it about in portmantles and pockets, requiring 
subscription thereunto, and using their utmost endeavours 
with their friends in private for to subscribe. It was subscribed 
publicly in churches, ministers exhorting their people there- 
unto. It was also subscribed and sworn privately. All had 
power to take the oath, and were licensed and welcome to come 
in, and any that pleased had power and licence for to carry the 
Covenant about with him, and give the oath to such as were 
willing to subscribe and swear. And such was the zeal of 
many subscribents that, for a while, many subscribed with tears 
on their cheeks, and it is constantly reported that some did draw 
their own blood, and used it in place of ink to underscribe their 
names. Such ministers as spoke most for it were heard so 
passionately and with such frequency, that churches would not 
contain their hearers in cities. . . . Nor were they scrupulous 
to give the Covenant to such as startled, at any point thereof, 
with such protestations as in some measure were destructive to 
the sense thereof ; so that they got subscriptions enough there- 
unto ; and it came to that height in the end, that such as 
refused to subscribe were accounted by the rest who sub- 
scribed no better than Papists." ' 

If honour be due to the nation which refused to shift its 
religion at the word of command, honour is also due to those 
Case of who, from whatever conscientious motive, refused to 
David sign their names to a lie for the sake of peace. Such 

men went about the streets of Edinburgh in fear of 
their lives. David Michell, one of the recusant ministers, was 
dogged by gentlemen with drawn swords. The cry of " If we 
had the Popish villain ! " was thrown at him as he passed. 2 Yet 
it is worthy of notice that these threats led to nothing worse. 

1 Gordon, 45. 

2 Michell to the Bishop of Raphoe, March 19, Sail/if, i. 263. 


. No bloodshed, except in avowed war, stained the cause of the 

Practically the nation was united. A few great landowners 

stood aloof from the movement A few amongst the clergy 

took alarm. Scholars like Drummond of Hawthorn - 

umty of the den dreaded the rising flood of popular passion 

which threatened to overwhelm their quiet studies. 

Some there were who signed in defiance of their conviction, 

and many more who signed in ignorance of the meaning cf 

their promises. But on the whole the nation swayed .forward 

under the influence of strong excitement, as the cornfield 

sways under the breeze. 

To the King the Scottish Covenant was much more than an 
assertion of Puritanism. By its appeal from himself to Parlia- 
ment and Assembly, it was in his eyes something 

Charles very like a declaration of republicanism. Yet, re- 
thought of , , , , . .... 

the Cove- solved as he was to resist such pretensions to the 
utmost, he knew not where to turn for the force 
which he needed. Though he had little idea how deep the 
dissatisfaction in England was, he knew enough to be aware 
that there were many of his subjects who would not fight very 
enthusiastically in this cause. Army he had none, in the sense 
of a disciplined body of men, ready to act independently 
of the state of popular opinion, and his fleet would not be of 
much avail unless it could be used in support of an army. 

It was at least possible to do something to improve the 

organisation of the navy. The Navy Commission which had 

April 13. been appointed on Buckingham's death was still in 

Northum-; office, and Charles had perhaps intended that -it 

} erland Lord * r 

Admiral. .. should remain in office till his second son, James, 
whom -he had created Duke of York, and who was not yet five 
years old, should become capable of performing the duties of 
a Lord Admiral. In view of the approaching conflict, it was 
necessary that some other arrangement should be made. 
Northumberland, who had commanded the fleet on its last 
year's cruise, was therefore created Lord Admiral during the 
King's pleasure. At the same time an instrument conveying 
the office to the young prince was executed, and consigned to 


the safe recesses of the Council chest, to be drawn forth when- 
ever the King wished it to be put in force. 1 

Northumberland fell ill shortly after his appointment, and 
was therefore unable to command the fleet in person. Even if 
May. it had been otherwise, no scheme of warlike pre- 
Sfve^tV 6 " paration had been framed in which the fleet could 
negotiate, possibly have taken part. Charles fell back on diplo- 
macy. It was necessary for him ' to gain time ' till he might 
be able to intervene with effect. Yet it would be to misunder- 
stand his character and position, to suppose, as has been so 
often supposed, that he had made up his mind to deceive the 
Scots by offering concessions which he never intended to 
make. He knew that he must abandon the position which he 
had taken up in the previous summer ; but he now fancied that 
it would be enough if he offered to modify the Court of High 
Commission, and to give assurance not to press the Canons 
and the Service Book, except in ' such a fair and legal way as ' 
should satisfy his subjects that he intended no ' innovation in 
religion or laws.' So far he was prepared to go. He was, 
however, strongly of opinion that the Scots would not be content 
with this, and he believed that their leaders at least were bent 
upon throwing off his lawful authority. The Covenant must 
therefore be surrendered as a standard of rebellion. 2 Spottis- 
woode sensibly told him that this demand would make all nego- 
tiation impossible. He answered curtly, that till the Covenant 
were abandoned he had no more power than a Doge of Venice. 3 
The request he plainly believed to be a righteous one. It was 
the fault of the Scots if they did not see it in the same light 
The mere demand would give him time to push on his prepara- 
tions. If that were to his advantage, the blame would lie with 
those who rejected such reasonable terms. 

As the bearer of this overture, Charles selected the Marquis 
of Hamilton, whom he had for many years consulted on every 
subject relating to Scotland. Of all men living Hamilton had 
the greatest share of the King's confidence, and was probably 

1 Northumberland's appointment, April 13, Patent Rolls, 13 Charles I. 
Part 38, Council Register, April 18. 

8 Burnet, Lives of the Hamilton*, 43. ' Ibid. 46. 



the most unfit to be trusted with the difficult task now assigned 
to him. The charge which was often brought against 
^ a Com. to him by contemporaries of wishing to seat himself 
nassioner. U p On his master's Scottish throne, as the next heir 
Hischarac- after the Stuart line, is doubtless without foundation. 1 
Everything that we know of him lends itself to the 
supposition that he felt a warm personal affection for Charles. 
But even a warm personal affection may easily be clouded 
over by other passions. When the chivalrous Lovelace as- 
sured the lady of his heart that he could not love her so much 
unless he loved honour more, he laid down a principle which 
holds good in other relations of life than those which exist 
between man and woman. Attachment arising out of personal 
admiration, or out of the amenities of personal intercourse, 
is liable to interruption or decay. Attachment arising out 
of community of sentiment and community of sacrifice for a 
common object is subject to no such danger. The enduring 
loyalty of Wentworth saw in Charles not merely a gracious 
sovereign, but the symbol of a great political principle. The 
loyalty of Hamilton saw in Charles a blindly devoted master, 
who had been the founder of a great part of his personal for- 
tune. He wished to support and maintain the King's authority, 
but he wished still more to foster his own wealth and state 
under the shadow of that authority. He would serve the King, 
but he could not serve him with a perfect heart. To the King 
he owed the high position which set him apart from other 
Scottish subjects, and which exposed him to the jealousy of 
his brother nobles ; but the permanent supports of his family, 
the broad estates, the attached hearts of followers and de- 
pendents, were to be found in the rich valley through which 
the Clyde poured its stream, under skies as yet undimmed by 
the smoke of a mighty industry. While every feeling of his 
heart, every demand of his interest, urged him to be the paci- 
ficator of the strife, he might easily be led to seek the ac- 
complishment of his object by means which might possibly 
do credit to his impartiality, but which were by no means 

" ace Vol. VII. p. 182. 


befitting an ambassador trusted by one of the parties in the 

To the religious aspect of the strife Hamilton was pro- 
foundly indifferent. If only the Scots would keep quiet, it 
Hisindiffer- mattere d nothing to him whether they read their 
ence to the prayers out of the new book or not. It was the 


side of the indifference of contempt, not the indifference of 
wisdom. He was just the man to advocate a com- 
promise, just the man too not to see on what terms a com- 
promise was possible. He would shift his ground from day to 
day because, if he did not take his stand on the principles of 
either of the contending parties, he had no principles of his own 
to secure him against the attraction or repulsion of every 
accident that occurred. 

It is not unlikely that this want of settled principle ex- 
pressed itself, unconsciously to himself, in that gloomy de- 
His despon- spondency for which he was notorious. He never 
dent temper. un( Jertook any work without rapidly coming to the 
conclusion that success was only attainable by an entire change 
of plan. He was frequently engaged in war and in diplomacy. 
Whenever he was engaged in war he became absolutely certain 
that negotiation would give him everything that he wanted. 
Whenever he was engaged in diplomacy he was sure that war, 
and war only, would accomplish the ends which he had been 
sent to obtain by negotiation. 

Already, before he could set out from England, he felt the 

difficulties of his task. " I have no hope in the world of doing 

good," he said to Con, " without coming to blows. 

Hamilton -. _ . . 

despairs of Our countrymen are possessed by the devil. The 
judgment of God is to be seen in the business ; for 
though the King is ready to pardon them, and to do all that 
they want, they continue to make new demands, and have now 
published orders that none of the Covenanters shall meet the 
King's Commissioners." l 

It was too true, Hamilton was made to understand that 
he was to treat with the Covenanting leaders, and must not pass 

1 Con to Barberini, June ~, Add. MSS. 15,391, fol. 164. 


them over to address their followers. Dalkeith was appointed 
as the place of meeting. Before he reached it, an 
His arrival affair occurred which inflicted on him a fresh indig- 
m Scotland. ^ vessel arrived at Leith laden with warlike 

stores for the garrison in the Castle of Edinburgh, which was 

commanded by the Earl of Mar, but which Hamilton 

shipa w r hoped to secure for the King. The Covenanters 

would not allow it to land its cargo. At last Traquair 

carried off the gunpowder on board and stowed it away in 

Dalkeith House. The Covenanting leaders at once refused to 

go near so dangerous a spot, and set guards round the Castle 

to hinder the introduction of the powder. 1 

On June 7 Hamilton was able to give an account of the 
state of affairs. He had an interview with Rothes, and had 
Junes. tld him that if the terms which he brought were 
^Jn-llrw 1 ' 8 re J ecte d> the King would come in person to Scotland 
with kothe*. w ith 40,000 men at his back. Rothes did not appear 
to be terrified. All that Scotland wanted, he said, was that 
their religion might be so securely established that no man 
might alter it hereafter at his pleasure. 9 

Before leaving England, Hamilton had received from 

Charles two alternative forms of a declaration which he was 

expected to publish. In the one the demand for the 

June 7. 

Hamilton's surrender of the Covenant was plainly worded. In 
thfsitua" the other it was shrouded in vague exhortations to 
obedience. Hamilton now assured the King that it 
was only in the latter form that it would be possible to read 
the declaration at all. 3 The Covenanters would be content 
with nothing short of an abolition of the obnoxious forms, 
including the Articles of Perth, by an Assembly and Parliament, 
together with a limitation placed upon the authority of the 
bishops. The King must therefore be prepared to invade 
Scotland with a royal army. He was certain to gain a victory, 
but he must remember that it would be gained over his ' own 
poor people,' and he might perhaps prefer 'to wink at their 

1 Rothes, 112, 129. * 'Ibid. 135. 

* I suppose this is what he means by dividing the Declaration. At all 
events, this is what he resolved on two days later. 


madness.' As long as that madness lasted, they would ' sooner 
lose their lives than leave the Covenant, or part from their 
demands impertinent and damnable as they were.' If the 
Covenanters could not force him to give way, they would call 
a Parliament themselves. " Be confident," he added, " they, 
by God's grace, shall neither be able to do the one nor the 
other in haste, for what I cannot do by strength I do by 
cunning." 1 

Hamilton was, perhaps, using his cunning to frighten 
Charles into those further concessions which now appeared to 
him to offer the only chance of peace. Charles, 
The King's however, did not take the hint. He replied that he 
ons ' was hastening his preparations. " In the meantime," 
he continued, " your care must be how to dissolve the multi- 
tude, and if it be possible to possess yourselves of my castles 
of Edinburgh and Stirling, which I do not expect. And to 
this end I give you leave to flatter them with what hopes you 
please, so you engage not me against my grounds and in 
particular that you consent neither to the calling of Parliament 
nor General Assembly, until the Covenant be disavowed and 
given up ; your chief end being now to win time that they may 
not commit public follies until I be ready to suppress them." 2 
In the main point, in short, there was to be no concession, but 
on matters of lesser importance Hamilton was to spin out the 
negotiation as long as he could. 

'. - Before this letter was written, Hamilton had entered Edin- 
burgh. The whole population of the town, swollen by numbers 
j un e g. wno na d flocked in from the country, appeared to 
Hamilton receive him. He reported that at least sixty thousand 

enters Edm- " J 

burgh. lined the roads. Five hundred ministers in their 
black gowns were there. Eluding their purpose of greeting 
him with a public speech, he made his way to Holyropd to 
hear what they had to say in private. So pleased was he with 
his reception, that he requested the King to put off any warlike 

1 Hamilton to the King, June 7, Hamilton Papers, 3. 
' l The King to Hamilton, June n, Buntet, 55; The letter is a reply 
to the one of the 7th, not to the one of the 4th mentioned in the beginning 
of it. 


effort till he had seen what he was able to accomplish in Edin 
burgh. The Covenanters, it was true, were not to be induced 
to surrender the Covenant at once, but it would be possible to 
obtain other concessions which fell short of that. 1 

In less than a week Hamilton discovered that even these 
modified hopes had been far too sanguine. On the i5th he 

wrote that even the Councillors of State declared the 
HUdisap- Covenant to be justified bylaw, ' which,' he added, 

' is a tenet so dangerous to monarchy, as I cannot 
yet see how they will stand together.' All that was to be done 
was to stave off the inevitable rebellion till the King was ready 
to crush it. He had not dared to publish the Declaration even 
in its curtailed form. Nothing short of the immediate meeting 
of an Assembly and Parliament would satisfy the Covenanters. 
On any terms short of this it was useless to continue the 
negotiation. Of the chance of a successful resistance he was 
equally hopeless. He had sent Huntly and a few other loyal 
noblemen to their homes to form the nucleus of opposition. 
Lord Antrim, who as a MacDonell had claims to lands in the 
Western Highlands, might bring an Irish force to the King's 
aid. But the immediate prospect was most gloomy. It was 
useless to expect to gain possession of Edinburgh Castle. There 
was not much comfort to be given. " When your power comes," 
wrote Hamilton, " I hope in God, He will give you victory ; 
but, believe me, it will be a difficult work and bloody." 2 

The next day Hamilton suggested a fresh way out of the 

difficulty. Might not the Covenanters add an ex- 

June 16. 3 

Hamilton planation to the Covenant, declaring that they had 
theffole- at no wish to infringe on the authority of the King ? 3 
expfai" th" Charles, however, shrank from acknowledging a de- 
Covenant. f eat so plainly. No explanation would conceal the 
fact that he had given way because he could not cope with the 
June ao. forces arrayed against him. He therefore replied 
prepares for 4 ^ at h e was ma k m g ready for war. In six weeks 
war - he should have a train of artillery consisting of forty 

pieces of ordnance. Berwick and Carlisle would soon be se- 

1 Hamilton to the King, June 9, Hamilton Papers, 7. 
* Idem, June 15, ibid. 9. Burnet, 58. 


cured against attack. He had sent to Holland for arms to equip 
14,000 foot, and 2,000 horse. The Lord Treasurer had 
assured him that he would have no difficulty in providing 
2oo,ooo/. He was about to despatch the fleet to the Firth of 
Forth, and 6,000 soldiers should be sent with it, if Hamilton 
could make sure that they would be able to land at Leith. 1 

A few days later Charles was still resolute. " I will only say," 

he wrote, " that so long as this Covenant is in force whether it 

be with or without explanation I have no more power 

in Scotland than as a Duke of Venice, which I will 

father die than suffer ; yet I commend the giving ear to the 

explanation, or anything else to win time, which now I see is 

one of your chiefest cares." He added that he should not be 

sorry if the Covenanters even proceeded to call a Parliament 

and Assembly without authority from him. By so doing they 

would only put themselves more completely in the wrong. 2 

Hamilton had already discovered that it was not so easy to 
win time as Charles imagined. He threatened to break off the 
negotiation, to return to England, and to advise the 
Hamilton* King to take another course. At last he obtained 
turning to" an engagement from the Covenanters that they would 
England. disperse to their homes, and would take no forward 
step for three weeks, during his absence, on the understanding 
that he would do his best to induce the King to summon an 
Assembly and a Parliament 

In announcing this arrangement to Charles, Hamilton made 
the most of the delay that he had gained. It was possible, he 
said, that, having once dispersed, the Covenanters would return 
in a better frame of mind. They would certainly not surrender 
the Covenant, but they would perhaps ' not so adhere to it ' as 
now they did. He had also something to say about the im- 
pending war. He could not secure the landing of the pro- 
posed force of 6,000 men, but a lesser number might be brought 
in the fleet to make incursions in Fife and the Lothians. 
Dumbarton was already in safe hands, and he was in treaty 
with the Earl of Mar for the surrender of Edinburgh Castle 

1 The King to Hamilton, June 20, Burnet, 59. 
* Idem, June 25, ibid. 60. 


to himself. Yet he could- not deny that the Covenanters 
were also active, and were importing arms freely from the 
Continent. 1 

In reply, Charles gave the required permission to return. 
The Commissioner was to promise nothing which would after- 
June 29. wards have to be refused. He might, however, recall- 
Hamilton the law courts to Edinburgh, and give some vague 
return. hopes of a future Assembly and Parliament. On the 
Other hand, the Declaration in its amended form must be 
published before he left Edinburgh. 2 

Hamilton had already set out for England when this letter 
reached him. He at once turned back, and on July 4 the 
- ' f King's Declaration was read at the Market Cross at 

TheDecia- Edinburgh. Covenanting Scotland was informed 
ration read. tha(; the Q^^ an d Service Book would only be 

pressed in a fair and legal way. 

Once more, as soon as the herald had fulfilled his task, a 
protestation was read in reply. . The Covenanters again ap- 
Another pro- pealed to Assembly and Parliament as the only lawful 
testation. judges of their cause. Nor did they fail to make it 
known that the Assembly which they contemplated was a very 
different one from those gatherings which had ratified the will 
of James with enforced subserviency. Bishops were to have 
no place there excepting as culprits to give an account of their 
misdeeds. Of this Assembly they began to speak in terms to 
which a servant of King Charles could hardly dare 

The Divine . . T i . i < 

right of as- to listen. It was openly said that the right to hold 
sembUes. assemblies came direct from God, and that no earthly 
prince might venture to interrupt them. 3 

The long controversy was slowly disentangling itself. The 
claim of Charles to cast the religion of his the mould 
which seemed fairest in his eyes was met by the stern denial of 
his right to meddle with religion at all 

This outburst of Scottish feeling penetrated to the Council 
chamber itself. Before nightfall many of the Privy Councillors, 

1 Hamilton to the King, June 24, Hamilton Papers, 14. 
* The King to Hamilton, June 29, Burnet, 6l. 
1 Protestation, Large Declaration, 98. 


who in the morning had given an official approval to the 
The Council Declaration, signified their determination to with- 
a^ahL P t a the draw their signatures. Unless this were permitted, 
ifeciaration. tney wou id s jg n t h e Covenant at once. To save 
Julys- himself from this indignity, Hamilton tore up, in 
their presence, the paper on which their approval had been 
recorded. l 

Whilst the Lord Commissioner was still arguing with the 

Council, a deputation from the Covenanters arrived to remon- 

strate against the language of the Declaration. Hamil- 

from U the n ton replied with firmness. The Council, he said, 

Covenanters. c knew ^^ ^ ^^ &nswer jt , 2 When 

the members of the deputation took leave, he followed them 
They are out of the room. "I spoke to you," he is reported 

by C Hamii- d to nave sa ^ ^ soon ^ ^ e was m P r i yate with them, 
ton. "before those Lords of the Council as the King's 

commissioner ; now, there being none present but yourselves, 
I speak to you as a kindly Scotsman. If you go on with 
courage and resolution, you will carry what you please ; but if 
you faint and give ground in the least, you are undone. A 
word is enough to wise men." 3 

" What I cannot do by strength,'' he had explained to 
Charles, " I do by cunning." Hamilton's cunning was as in- 
effectual as his strength. It is not necessary to suppose that 
he wished to ruin his master. He probably wanted simply 
to be on good terms with all parties, and thought, as was un- 

1 Hamilton to the King, July 4, Hamilton Papers^ 21. Burnet, 64. 

2 Rothes, 175. 

* These words are given by Guthry (Memoirs, 40). He says that he 
heard the story on the same day from a person who had been told it by 
Cant, who was himself one of the deputation, and heard it again, ' in the 
very same terms,' that evening from Montrose, who was another of the 
deputation. It does not follow that the very words are accurately set 
down by Guhry when he came to write his Memoirs. The belief that he 
was playing a double game was too common in Scotland not to have had 
some foundation. The English author of the curious narrative printed in 
the Appendix to the Hamilton Papers (263), says that ' he gave them 
advice as his countrymen to keep to their own principles, lest the English 
nation .... should encroach upon them.' 


doubtedly the case, that it would be better for Charles, as well 
as for Scotland, that he should accept the terms which appeared 
to be inevitable. With this object in view, it was to him a 
matter of indifference whether Charles frightened the Scots into 
surrender, or the Scots frightened Charles into concessions. As 
the first alternative appeared to be more than ever improbable, 
he now took his journey southward, with the hope that Charles 
would give way more readily than his subjects. He 

Hamilton's , . . ... , 

return to was prepared to urge him to give his consent to the 
ng an ' meeting of Assembly and Parliament, to allow them 
to give a legal condemnation to the recent ecclesiastical inno- 
vations, and even to place the bishops for the future under the 
control of the General Assembly. It might well be doubted 
whether Charles would be prepared to yield so much. There 
could be no doubt whatever that the Scots would not be content 
with less. 




ON July i, a few days before Hamilton set out for England, 
Charles for the first time broached the subject of the Scottish 

troubles in the English Privy Council. The necessity 
July i. of placing Berwick and Carlisle in a state of defence, 
counci"?n- sh made it impossible to treat the matter any longer 
statTof fthe as one m w hich England was wholly unconcerned. 
affairs. The King spoke of his wish to have brought about a 
religious uniformity between the two kingdoms. He explained 
that he had now found it necessary to entrust Arundel with the 
work of strengthening the border fortresses, but that he had no 
intention of dealing hardly with the wild heads in Scotland, if 
they went no farther than they had gone as yet Beyond this 
vague statement he did not commit himself. No opinion was 
asked from the Privy Councillors, and none was given. Charles 
was doubtless not unconscious of the difficulty of gathering an 
adequate military force. That weary look, which, transferred 

to the canvas of Vandyke, gained for Charles so many 

The King's , . .. ,. 

despond- passionate admirers, was now stealing over his coun- 
"" cy tenance. For the first time in his life he left the 

tennis-court unvisited, and, except on rare occasions, he avoided 
the excitement of the chase. He announced that, this year, his 
progress would be but a short one, and that he would return to 
Oatlands before the middle of August at the latest. 1 It is not 
improbable that Charles really fancied it to be possible to 
subdue Scotland without invading it, and without summoning 

1 Gartard to Wentworth, July 3, Slrafford Letters, ii. 179. Zonca's 
despatch, July ^, Ven. Transcripts^ R. 0. 


an English Parliament. On the very day on which he made 
his communication to the Council, a legal opinion was placed 
in his hands by Bankes, in which the Attorney- General treated 
the greatest political question of the day from the point of view 
of a mere lawyer. In this paper the King was informed that 
he was entitled by law to send all persons who held lands or 
offices from him in the North of England, to repair thither and 
to be armed at the expense of their own counties for the defence 
of the realm. He might also command the towns in the North 
to erect fortifications at their own charges. When an invasion 
had thus been rendered impossible, the English navy might be 
ordered to blockade the coast of Scotland. In this way the 
Scots would be obliged to submit without the intervention of 
an English army. 1 

Even Charles could not long continue to believe that the 
North would really be secured by the means which appeared 

to Bankes to be sufficient Before long, though he 
The Com- still hesitated to consult the Privy Council as a whole 
Scotch 00 on the subject, he directed the formation of a com- 

mittee from amongst its members in order that it 
might advise him on the practicability of an armed interference 
in Scotland. The committee was soon hopelessly divided in 
opinion. The Catholics and semi-Catholics Arundel, Cotting- 
ton, and Windebank were for instant war. Vane, Coke, and 
Northumberland hesitated in the face of its enormous dif- 
ficulties. With all the financial improvement of recent years, 
Charles's income was insufficient to bear an extraordinary strain. 
The promise of 2oo,ooo/ made by Juxon a few weeks before 
had not been realised. Only 2oo/. were at the moment in the 
exchequer. The utmost that could be raised by borrowing 
was no,ooo/., a sum which would go but a little way towards 
the maintenance of an army. What was of more consequence 
was, that the recent decision in the ship-money case had re- 
vealed the discontent of the English people, and it was freely 
acknowledged that they were more likely to support the Scots 
than to draw their swords for the King. 2 

1 The Attorney-General to the King, July I, Melbourne MSS. 
Northumberland to Wentworth, July 23, Stra/ord Letters, ii. 185. 



In these desperate circumstances, it was natural that the 

thoughts of those who cared for the 'maintenance of the King's 

authority should cross St. George's Channel There 

dratVto' at least was a man who had shown that it was possible 

to educe order out of chaos. Might not the force 

which had curbed Ireland be employed to restore discipline in 


Never had Wentworth been so hopeful of the success of his 

great experiment as in the summer of 1637. In August, just 

1637. as the Scottish resistance was growing serious, he set 

wtn^orth-s out fo r the west. In a letter to Conway he described, 

progress in w j t h much amusement, the triumphal arches erected 

the west of 

Ireland. in his honour, and the long speeches of welcome 
inflicted on him by the magistrates of the towns through which 
he passed. He was-well satisfied with the more serious business 
of his journey. " Hither are we come," he wrote from Limerick, 
" through a country, upon my faith, if as well husbanded, built, 
and peopled as are you in England, would show itself not 
much inferior to the very best you have there. The business 
we came about is most happily effected, and His Majesty now 
entitled to the two goodly counties of Ormond and Clare, and 
which beauties and seasons the work exceedingly with all 
possible contentment and satisfaction of the people. In all 
my whole life- did I never see, or could possibly have believed 
to have found men with so much alacrity divesting .themselves 
of all property in their estates, and, with great quietness and 
singleness of mind, waiting what His Majesty may in his 
gracious good pleasure and time determine and measure out 
for them. I protest I that am, to my truth, of a gentle hearty 
find myself extremely taken with the manner of their proceeding. 
They have all along, to the uttermost of their skill and breeding, 
given me very great expressions of their esteem and affection, 
so as I begin almost to be persuaded that they here could be 
content to have me the minister of His Majesty's favour towards 
them as soon as any other." 1 

Such a letter shows Wentworth at his best. It is probable 

1 Wentworth t.o Conway, Aug. 21, 1637, 5. P. Ireland, Bundle 286. 


that the days of this summer progress were the last of unalloyed 
Ormondand happiness that he ever enjoyed. He could hardly 
cianrickard. <j ou 5t what was the cause of this unexpected loyalty. 
At Gahvay, two years before, he had acted in defiance of the 
great tribal lord the Earl of Cianrickard. At Limerick he was 
acting with the warm support of the Earl of Ormond. 

Whether it would have been possible by patience to bring 
the other lords to follow Ormond's example, it is impossible 
now to say. Patience was no part of Wentworth's character. 
In any case, the impulse to improvement must have come 
from the Crown, and the improvement to which he looked was 
rather to be found in the benefits derived by the poor from 
orderly government, than in the increased activity of the rich. 
" It is most rare," he wrote about this time, " that the 

Wentworth's , . . _ . , . . , , 

view of Irish lower sort of the Irish subject hath not in any age 
lived so preserved from the pressures and oppressions 
of the great ones as now they do ; for which, I assure you, they 
bless God and the King, and begin to discern and taste the 
great and manifold benefits they gather under the shadow, and 
from the immediate dependence upon the Crown, in compari- 
son of the scant and narrow coverings they formerly borrowed 
from their petty yet imperious lords." l 

Such work was not likely to conduce to the formation of a 

correct judgment on English and Scottish affairs. "Mr. Prynne's 

case," he wrote in October, " is not the first wherein 

Oct. lo. 

Wentworth's I have resented the humour of the time to cry up 
English and magnify such as the honour and justice of the 
King and State have marked out and adjudged 
mutinous to the Government, and offensive to the belief and 
reverence the people ought to have in the wisdom and integrity 
of the magistrate. Nor am I now to say it anew .... that a 
prince that loseth the force and example of his punishments, 
loseth withal the greatest part of his dominion ; and yet still, 
methinks, we are not got through the disease nay, I fear, do 
not sufficiently apprehend the malignity of it. In the mean 
time a liberty thus assumed, thus abused, is very insufferable ; 

1 Went worth to Coke, Aug. 15, Stratford Letters, ii. 88. 


but how to help it I krtow not, till I see the good as resolute 
in their good as we daily observe the bad to be in 
their evil ways, which God of His grace infuse into 

us ; for such are the feeble and faint motions of human frailty, 

that I do not expect it thence." ' 

To Wentworth, Hampden's case appeared no better than 

that of Prynne. " Mr. Hampden," he complained to Laud, 
"is a great Brother, and the very genius of that 
nation of people leads them always to oppose civilly 

as ecclesiastically all that ever authority ordains for them ; 

but, in good faith, were they right served, they should bd 

whipped home into their right wits, and much beholden they 

should be to any that would thoroughly take pains with them 

I6s8 in that kind." " In truth," he wrote some months 

April 10. j aterj u i st ju w ; s h ^ ^ > M r Hampden and others to 

his likeness were well whipped into their right senses ; if that 
the rod be so used that it smarts not, I am the more sorry." * 

Whatever may have been the exact form of punishment 
which Wentworth designed for Hampden, there can be no 
lui 28 doubt that he was ready to expend all his energy on 
Wentwotth's the Scottish Covenanters. One plan, indeed, which 
th^ario" had been suggested in London, that the Earl of 
Antrim 3 should be allowed to raise a force to attack 
the West of Scotland, found no favour in his eyes. He told 
the King that he thought but meanly of Antrim's ' parts, of his 
power, or of his affections.' It would not be safe to trust him 
with arms. If he did not misuse them himself, the Scottish 
colonists were strong enough to seize upon them for their own 
ends. The Irish Government could not spare a man of its 
small army for service in Scotland. Three or four thousand 
foot, however, might be levied for the purpose. If this were 
done, the greater number ought to be of English birth. If 
Irishmen were allowed to receive a military training in Scotland, 
they might be dangerous after their return. 

1 Wentworth to Laud, Oct. 18, Strafford Letters, ii. 119. 
* Idem, Nov. 27. April 10, Strafford Letters, ii. 136, 156. 
1 He had married Buckingham's widow, as Lord Dunluce, in his 
father's lifetime. 



When Wentworth wrote this letter, he had in his hand a 
copy of the last protestation of the Scots. It left no doubt on 
his mind that they were aiming at a change in the 
of'theCove- basis of government. One of his chaplains had 
recently visited Edinburgh. An attempt, Wentworth 
said, had been made to force him ' to sign and swear some- 
thing which ' he thought they called 'their Covenant with 
God/ If it be such, he sneeringly added, ' it will learn them 
obedient to their King very shortly.' ' 

As yet Wentworth's advice on the policy to be pursued 

towards the Scots had not been asked. He therefore un- 

ju'iy 30 bosomed himself in a private letter to Northumber- 

Skttches the land. If the insolency of the Scots, he said, were 

policy to be 

pursued ; no t ' thoroughly corrected,' it was impossible to fore- 
see all the evil consequences that would follow. It was true 
that the preparations in England were not sufficiently advanced 
to justify an immediate declaration of war. But there should 
be no furthei concessions to the Scots. ' To their bold and 
unmannerly demand ' for a Parliament, ' mixed with a threat 
that otherwise they' would 'betake themselves to other counsel,' 
his Majesty should reply that ' it was not the custom of the 
best and mildest of kings to be threatened into parliaments, or 
to be circumscribed with days and hours by their subjects.' 
Their present conduct, he should say, was ' more than ever he 
expected from them which profess the religion which decries 
all such tumultuous proceedings of people against their sove- 
reign.' He should ask what they would have thought ' if the 
Papists of England or Ireland ' had done the like, and should 
inform them that he would give them leisure 'to consider the 
modesty, the reverence, wherewith they were to approach God's 
anointed, and their King, and so to frame their petitions and 
supplications as that they might be granted without diminution 
to his height and Royal estate.' 

Wentworth's plan for the reduction of Scotland was in the 
main the same as that which had been propounded by Bankes, 
though it was put in a somewhat more practical shape. To 

1 Weutvvorth to the King, July 28, Stratford Letters, ii. 187. 


prepare for the worst, Berwick and Carlisle must be garrisoned, 
and suggests an ^ ^ e troops there, as well as the trained bands 
a plan for Q f fa e nor thern counties, must be diligently exer- 

conducting J 

the war. cised during the winter, so as to have a disciplined 
army ready at the commencement of the summer, without any 
previous expense to the exchequer. If the Scots continued 
refractory their ports could then be blockaded, and their 
shipping seized. Under this stress, their new unity would 
speedily be dissolved. Partisans of the King would spring up 
on every side. No unnecessary cruelty must delay the work of 
submission. Seditious ministers must be merely imprisoned. 
There must be no death on the scaffold, however richly it might 
be deserved. Scotland would soon prostrate herself at the feet 
of the King. 

Then for Wentworth never failed to form a clear concep- 
tion of his ultimate aim would come a new day of govern- 
His ultimate ment for Scotland. It was to be ruled as Ireland 
aim. was j-uiedj by a Council of its own, acting in strict 

subordination to the English Privy Council. The religious 
difficulty was to be settled on much the same principle. No 
extemporary prayers, no Book of Common Order was to be 
tolerated. Neither was any new-fangled Liturgy to be forced 
upon the people. They must be content to accept the time- 
honoured Prayer Book of the English Church, the Protestantism 
of which was beyond dispute. 

If Wentworth, as he undoubtedly did, underestimated the 
strength which a struggle for national existence would give to 
Scotland, he overestimated still more the devotion of the Eng- 
lish people to their King. He imagined that his countrymen 
were still animated by that fiery loyalty which was peculiarly 
his own. " Your Lordship," he wrote in conclusion, 

He holds 

that the "may say: How shall money be found to carry us 

safety of the , i i < i T i / i 

p-opie is the through the least part of this ? In good faith, every 
ughest law. man w m ^ & -^ j hope, f rom his children, upon such 

an extremity as this, when no less verily than all we have comes 
thus to the stake. In a word, we are, God be praised, rich 
and able, and in this case it may be justly said, Sa/us populi 

A A 2 


suprema lex, and the King must not want our substance for the 
preservation of the whole." ' 

Such was Wentworth's confession of faith. He believed 
in his heart of hearts that to fight for the King in this cause 
was to fight ' for the preservation of the whole.' 

It may well be that in Scotland no middle course between 

a complete conquest and an absolute relinquishment of power 

was in any way possible. After all that had passed, 

No middle . i , ," , , 

course pos- it was hopeless to expect that Charles s authority 
' ble ' would ever again strike root in the heart of the 

Youth of Scottish nation. One man indeed there was who, in 
Montrose. a f ter vearSj was t o believe it possible, and who was 
destined to dash himself to pieces, in the Royal cause, against 
the rocky strength of Covenanting Scotland. That man was 
still a fiery youth, throwing himself heart and soul into the 
cause of the Covenant. James Graham, Earl of Montrose, 
xvas born in 1612, and succeeded to his father's title as a mere 
lad in 1626. Educated at St. Andrews, he was easily supreme 
in those bodily exercises in which youths of gentle birth sought 
distinction. He bore away the prize for archery ; he was noted 
1 1626. for his firm seat on horseback, and for the skill with 
1629. which he managed his arms. Married at the early 
age of seventeen, after four years of wedded happiness, he 
1633. sought pleasure and instruction in a prolonged tour 
1636. on the Continent. When he returned in 1636 he 
passed through England, and asked Hamilton for an introduc- 
ts tricked by ^ on * * ne King. Hamilton, if report speaks truly, 
Hamilton. was jealous of the young man, and played off on 
him one of his masterpieces of deception. Telling him that the 
King could not endure a Scotchman, he prepared him for an 
unfavourable reception. He then warned the King that Mont- 
rose was likely to be dangerous in Scotland. The traveller was 
therefore received with coolness, and returned home highly dis- 
contented. The man with whom he was most closely connected, 
his brother-in-law, the excellent Lord Napier, and his kinsman, 
the Earl of Airth, were at the same time loyal to the Sovereign 

1 Wentworth to Northumberland, July 30, Strafford Letters ; ii. 189. 


and hostile to Hamilton, whom they regarded with disfavour 
as withdrawing the management of Scottish affairs from Edin- 
burgh to Whitehall, and against whom they were embittered by 
one of those family feuds which were still potent in Scotland. 1 

Before 1637 came to an end, Montrose was in the thick of 

the opposition. When once he had chosen his side, he was 

sure to bear himself as a Paladin of old romance. 

Montrose's If he made any cause his own, it was not with the 

' ter * reasoned calculation of a statesman, but with the 
fond enthusiasm of a lover. When he afterwards transferred 
his affections from the Covenant to the King, it was as Romeo 
transferred his affections from Rosaline to Juliet. He fought 
for neither King nor Covenant, but for that ideal of his own 
which he followed as Covenanter or Royalist. He went ever 
straight to the mark, impatient to shake off the schemes of 
worldly-wise politicians and the plots of interested intriguers; 
Nature had marked him for a life of meteoric splendour, to 
confound and astonish a world, and to leave behind him an 
inspiration and a name which would outlast the ruin of his 

In 1638 Montrose could be nothing but a patriotic Scots- 

1 The story of Hamilton's treatment of Montrose comes from Heylyn 
(Life of Laud, 350). It is there connected with a story about another 
Graham, Earl of Menteith, who had a kind of claim to the throne of Scot- 
land on the ground of the questionable legitimacy of Robert III., through 
whom the crown had descended. The King, through a legal process, had 
deprived him of his titles, though he subsequently granted him the earl- 
dom of Airth by a fresh creation. The whole of his story will be found in 
Masson's Druinmond of Ha\i>thorni1en t 185. Heylyn says that Hamilton 
told the King that Montrose was ' of such esteem amongst the Scots, by 
reason of an old descent from the Royal family, that he might take part in 
supporting his kinsman's claim.' It must be remembered that though 
Hamilton did not put in any claim to the throne against Charles, he was 
in the line of succession, and was therefore personally interested in the 
putiing down any claim by Menteith. Mr. Napier has pointed out that 
Heylyn probably derived his information from Lord Napier. It is difficult 
to say what amount of credit is due to the narrative printed in the Appen- 
dix to the Hamilton Paptrs, but the rivalry between Montrose and Hamil- 
ton, there alleged to have existed, falls in very well with Heylyn's story. 


man, and as a patriotic Scotsman he threw himself without an 
,6 3 8. afterthought into the whirl of political strife. He 
a'cov- seas Detested and distrusted Hamilton, as he afterwards 
namer. detested and distrusted Argyle. He had been one 
of those who had listened to Hamilton's appeal to the ' kindly 
Scots,' and the incident had made a deep impression on his 
mind. When a decision was to be taken or a protestation 
read, he was certain to be foremost. 1 The Covenanting leaders 
knew how to make good use of his fervid energy. Scarcely had 
Hamilton turned his back on Edinburgh, when they launched 
Montrose against Aberdeen. 

A great national uprising makes scant account of corporate 
privilege or individual liberty. He who stands sneeringly, or 
The Aber- even hesitatingly, apart from it is soon regarded as a 
deen doctors. p OSS jble traitor, if not as an actual traitor, who waits 
for an opportunity to strike. Ministers who had refused to sign 
the Covenant had been silenced, ill-treated, and driven from 
their homes. Only in one place in Scotland did they gather 
thickly enough to hold their own. The Aberdeen doctors, 
indeed, were no enthusiastic supporters of Charles's ill-fated 
Prayer Book. They felt no attraction to Laud and his Beauty 
of Holiness. They were faithful disciples of the school which 
had been founded by Patrick Forbes. The danger which they 
foresaw was that which is inseparable from every popular, ex- 
citement, and especially from every popular religious excite- 
ment. They feared for their quiet studies, for their right to 
draw unmolested their own conclusions from the data before 
them. They were Royalists ; not as Laud and Wren were 
Royalists, but after the fashion of Chillingworth and Hales. 

1 Gordon's story (i. 33) may be true, though it looks as if it were 
dressed up after the event, and \vas certainly written after 1650. "It is 
reported that at one of these protestations at Edinburgh Cross, Montrose 
standing up upon a puncheon that stood on the scaffold, the Earl of Rothes 
in jest said unto him, ' James,' says he, ' you will not be at rest till you he 
lifted up there above the rest in three fathom of rope.' .... This was, 
afterwards accomplished in earnest in that same place. Some say that 
the same supports of the scaffold were made use of at Montrose 's exe- 


Under the name of authority they upheld the noble banner of 
intellectual freedom. Under Charles they had such liberty as 
they needed ; under the Covenant they were not likely to have 
any liberty at all. 

So matters looked at Aberdeen. It was impossible that 
they should be so regarded in Edinburgh. The liberty of the 
Aberdeen doctors might easily become the slavery 
Danger from of Scotland. If the northern city were occupied by 
the King's forces, it would become to Covenanting 
Scotland what La Vendee afterwards became to Republican 
France. The risk was the greater because Aberdeen had other 
forces behind it than those which were supplied by the logic of 
its colleges. It lay close to the territory occupied by the 
Huntly and powerful Gordon kindred, at the head of which was 
Argyie. tne Marquis of Huntly. Huntly in the north-east, 
like Argyie in the south-west, was more than an eminent 
Scottish nobleman. These two were as kings within their own 
borders. Each of them had authority outside the mountains. 
Each of them was a Celtic chieftain as well as a peer of the 
realm. Far away from Argyle's castle at Inverary, far away 
from Huntly's castle at the Bog in Strathbogie, the frontiers of 
rival authority met. 

Of the two, Huntly's power was less Celtic than that of 
Argyie, and was therefore more exposed to attack from the 
Huntly's southern populations. An invading army might 
royahsm. easily keep clear of the mountains by clinging to 
that strip of lowland country which stretches along the shores 
of the Moray Firth. Huntly's family had risen to power by the 
defence of this more civilised district against lawless attacks 
from the dwellers in the hills. It was a district isolated from 
Southern influences, and Huntly's immediate predecessors had 
retained the faith of the ancient Church. They had therefore 
looked with jealousy upon any government seated at Edinburgh, 
and in proportion as the King had become estranged from 
the sentiments prevailing in the South of Scotland, he would 
be regarded as the natural ally of his subjects in the North. 
Huntly's own position was such as to place him at the head of 
a struggle for local independence. The victory of the national 


party would reduce his power to that of an ordinary nobleman. 
To a messenger sent to urge him to throw in his lot with his 
countrymen, he replied that ' his family had risen and stood by 
the kings of Scotland, and for his part, if the event proved the 
ruin of this king, he was resolved to lay his life, honours, and 
estate under the rubbish of the King's ruins.' ' 

On July 20, Montrose entered Aberdeen. According to 

the custom of the place, a cup of wine was offered to him as 

an honoured guest. He refused to drink it till the 

July 20. 

Montrose at Covenant had been signed. He brought with him 

cen ' three preachers Henderson, Dickson, and Cant. 
All the churches closed their doors against them. They 
preached in the streets in vain. The men of Aberdeen would 
not sign the Covenant. In the neighbourhood signatures were 
obtained amongst families which, like the Forbeses, were jealous 
of Huntly's power. Their example and the pressure of military 
force brought in a few subscribers. Two ministers appended 
their names with a protest that they remained loyal 

y 29 ' and obedient to the King ; and the reservation was 
accepted, not only by Montrose, but by Henderson and Dickson 
as well. 2 

Such a reservation, to be differently interpreted in different 
mouths, would probably have been accepted by all Scotland. 
. j 2 No such simple means of saving his own dignity 
Hamilton's would commend itself to Charles. After consultation 
with Hamilton, he gave way so far as to authorise the 
meeting of an Assembly and a Parliament. Hamilton was to 
do his best to obtain as much influence for the bishops in the 
Assembly as he possibly could. He was to protest against any 
motion for the abolition of their order, but he might consent 
to any plan for making them responsible for their conduct to 
future Assemblies. If this was objected to, Hamilton was ' to 
yield anything, though unreasonable, rather than to break.' 

Difficult as it would probably be to obtain the consent of 
Scotland to this compromise, it was made more difficult by a 

1 Garden, i. 49. 

* General Demands concerning the Covenant, Aberdeen, 1662, Sfald- 

i*g> i- 93- - 


gratuitous obstacle of Charles's own invention. The Covenant 
TheConfes- was neither to be passed over in silence nor ex- 
sion of 1567. p] ame( ] awa y. It was to be met by the resuscitation 
of a Confession of Faith which had been adopted by the Scottish 
Parliament in 1567, and which, though strongly Protestant in 
tone, naturally passed entirely over all controversies of a later 
date. To this Confession Charles now added clauses binding 
those who accepted it to defend ' the King's Majesty's sacred 
person and authority, as also the laws and liberties, of the 
country under his Majesty's sovereign power.' This document 
was to be circulated for subscription in Scotland, not in addition 
to, but in substitution for, the National Covenant. All ministers 
expelled for refusing to sign the National Covenant were to be 
restored to their parishes. All ministers admitted to a parish 
without the intervention of the bishop were to be expelled. 1 

With these instructions Hamilton started once more for 
Scotland. On August 10 he reached Edinburgh. He found 
Aug. 10. himself at once involved in a controversy on the 
"co^d'm'li constitution of the Assembly which he had come to 
sion. announce. What Charles proposed was an exclusively 

clerical Assembly, in which the bishops should, if possible, 
preside. The Covenanting leaders would not hear of the 
arrangement. They were hardly likely to forget how Spottis- 
woode had threatened the ministers with the loss of their 
stipends at the Perth Assembly, and they knew enough of 
what was passing in London to distrust the King's intentions. 
Whether there be truth or not in the story which tells how 
Scottish grooms of the bed-chamber rifled the King's pockets 
after he was in bed, so as to learn the contents of his secret 
correspondence, 2 there can be no doubt that his projects were 
known in Scotland even better than they were known 

H is efforts J 

to divide the in England. Hamilton's efforts to divide the King's 

Covenanters. , . . , , 

opponents served but to weld them together m more 
compact unity. When he talked to the nobles of the folly of 

1 Bui-net, 65. 

2 It is in favour of this story that Henrietta Maria, after she left 
England in 1642, advised her husband to be careful of his pockets, where 
be then kept the key to the cypher used between them. 


reimposing on their own necks that yoke of Presbytery which 
their fathers had been unable to bear, he was told that Epis- 
copacy was not the only means of averting the danger. Lay 
elders formed a part of the Presbyterian constitution, and 
under that name it would be easy for noblemen and gentlemen 
to find their way into the Church courts, where they would 
have no difficulty in keeping in check any attempt at clerical 
domination. It is true that this prospect was not altogether 
pleasing to the ministers, and that many of them were somewhat 
alarmed at the growing influence of a nobility which would 
probably become lukewarm in the cause of the Church as soon 
as their own interests were satisfied. But the nobles told the 
clergy plainly, that if their support was wanted it must be taken 
on their own terms, and the chance that Charles would keep 
the engagements to which he had advanced with such hesitating 
steps was not sufficiently attractive to induce the clergy to 
abandon those protectors who had stood by them hitherto 
without flinching. 

On August 13 Hamilton laid before the Privy Council his 

scheme for the pacification of Scotland. All extraordinary 

Aug. 13. assemblies of the clergy and laity were to be broken 

andThe 011 U P' anc ^ bishops and expelled ministers were to be 

Council. protected in their lawful cures. At the elections to 

the Assembly no layman was to have a vote, and the Council 

was ' to advise to give satisfaction anent the Covenant, or to 

renounce the same.' So unfavourable was the recep- 

Aug. 25. 

He returns tion of these proposals, that Hamilton returned once 
Engand. more to E n g] an d f or further instructions ; having 
first obtained from the Covenanters a. promise that they would 
not proceed to any self-authorised elections till September 21, 
by which time he hoped to be back in Scotland. 1 

When, on September 17, Hamilton appeared for the third 

Sept. 17. ti me in Edinburgh, he brought with him what must 

Hamilton's have seemed to Charles unlimited concessions. He was 

third mis- 
sion, to issue a summons for the meeting of the Assembly 

and Parliament, and to content himself, as far as the elections 

1 Baillie^ i, 98. Sf aiding, i. 98. Buntet, 69. Large Declaration 
III. v,J 


to the former body were concerned, with coming as near as was 
possible to the forms observed in the preceding reign. He was 
to declare that the King absolutely revoked ' the Service Book, 
the Book of Canons, and the High Commission,' that he sus- 
pended the practice of the Articles of Perth, and was ready to 
consent to their entire abolition, if Parliament wished him to 
do so. Episcopacy was to be limited in such a way that the 
bishops in future would be responsible to the Assembly for 
their conduct. 

Charles did not stop here. It is true that he no longer 
directly asked for the surrender of the National Covenant. He 
The King's abandoned also the idea of sending round for signa r 
Covenant. j ure fae Confession of 1567. But he seems to have 
thought it necessary to preserve his dignity by sending round 
for signature some document of his own. This time it was to 
consist of the Confession drawn up in 1580, which formed the 
basis of the National Covenant. Naturally, Johnston's additions 
were to be omitted, and they were to be replaced by a certain 
Covenant which had been drawn up in 1590, the signers of 
which had bound themselves to stand by the King in ' suppress- 
ing of the Papists, promotion of true religion, and settling of 
His Highness' estate and obedience in all the countries and 
corners of the realm.' ' 

On the 22nd the Privy Councillors, after some hesitation, 
signed the King's Covenant. The same day a proclamation 
was made at the Cross. It began by announcing the 
Procfama 3 concessions intended. It then called on the people 
A"embi he to s ^ n t ^ ie ncw C venant j not because any fresh 
and Pania- attestation of their own faith was needed, but in order 
that the King might thereby assure his subjects that 
he never intended ' to admit of any change or alteration in the 
true religion already established and professed.' Finally, an 
Assembly was summoned to meet at Glasgow on November 21, 
and a Parliament on May i5. 2 

By a few Scotsmen who, like Drummond of Hawthornden, 
had watched with anxiety the leagues of the nobles and the 

1 Burnet, 75. Peterkin's Records, 8l. 


violence of the clergy, the proclamation was hailed as a message 
of peace. ' By the mass of Drummond's countrymen it was 
Another pro- received with profound distrust. As its words died 
testation. away, there followed another protestation, more sharp 
and defiant than any before. Scotland had made up its mind 
to have no more to do with bishops, whether their power was 
to be limited or unlimited. The introduction of a new Covenant 
without apparent reason was in itself certain to arouse suspicion. 
The question at once arose, for what purpose were their 
signatures demanded ? The explanation given by the King was 
why should unintelligible. " If we should now enter upon this 
covenant be new subscription," said the protestors their words 
signed? were j n a u probability the words of Henderson 2 
" we would think ourselves guilty of mocking God, and taking 
His name in vain ; for the fears that began to be poured forth 
at the solemnising of the Covenant are not yet dried up and 
wiped away, and the joyful noise which then began to sound 
hath not yet ceased ; and there can be no new necessity from 
us, and upon our part pretended, for a ground of urging this 
new subscription, at first intended to be an abjuration of Popery, 
upon us who are known to hate Popery with an unfeigned 
hatred, and have all this year byegone given large testimony of 
our zeal against it. As we are not to multiply miracles on God's 
part, so ought we not to multiply solemn oaths and covenants 
upon our part, and thus to play with oaths as children do with 
their toys without necessity." 3 

Behind the controversy about the King's Covenant ap- 
peared another controversy, more serious still. Charles 
thought he had done much in offering to place the 
Assembly bishops under limitations. He was told that all such 
questions were beyond his competence. The As- 
sembly would deal with them as it saw fit. It, not the King, 
was divinely empowered to judge of all questions relating to the 

Such was the declaration of war it was nothing less 

1 .Drummond's Irene. Works, 163. 

This is the suggestion of Prof. Masson, Life of Milton, ii. 33. 

' Peterkin's Records, 86. 


issued by the Scottish Covenanters. At the heart of the long 
The Protes- appeals to Scripture and to Presbyterian logic lay the 
tation a de- sense o f national independence. Episcopacy was a 

clarauon ot * f J 

war - foreign substance, which had never been assimilated 

by the living organism into which it had been introduced by 
force and fraud. 

The attempt to procure signatures to the King's Covenant 
was almost a total failure. Loyal Aberdeen and its neighbour- 
hood produced 12,000 signatures ; only 16,000 more 
Ki^s^ove* could be obtained fiom the rest of Scotland. A 
mad woman named Margaret Michelson, who went 
about saying that she was inspired to declare that the National 
Covenant came from Heaven, and that the King's Covenant 
was the work of Satan, was very generally regarded as a pro- 
phetess. 1 

In the face of such evidence of popular feeling, it hardly- 
mattered under what system the votes in the election of mem- 

The electoral Ders f tne Assembly WCrC recorded. The Coven- 
machinery. an ters, however, treated it as a matter of course 
that an Act passed by an Assembly held in 1597 was to be 
accepted as the constitutional rule, all later Acts being held 
to have been null and void. Hamilton's efforts to introduce 
jealousy between the gentry and the clergy were without effect. 
The constituency in each Presbytery was composed of the 
minister and one lay elder from each parish. By this con- 
stituency three ministers were chosen to represent the Presby- 
tery, whilst the gentry of the same district returned a lay elder 
to represent themselves. Edinburgh was separately represented 
by two members, and the other boroughs by one member 

It would have puzzled the sharpest logician to give any 
satisfactory reason why a body, brought into existence by this 

particular kind of electoral machinery, should be 
tile^f- c held to speak with Divine authority, rather than a 

body brought into existence in some other way. But 
there could be no doubt that it could speak with a national 

Burnett 8l. Cordon ; i. 131. 


authority as no merely clerical assembly could have spoken. 
Whatever Scotland was, in its strength and its weakness, in its 
fierce uncompromising dogmatism, in its stern religious enthu- 
siasm, in its worldly ambition and hair-splitting argumentative- 
ness, in its homely ways and resolute defiance of a foreign 
creed and of a foreign worship, was reflected, as in a mirror, in 
the Assembly which was now elected in the teeth of the King's 

Charles could hardly avoid taking up the glove thrown 
down. To allow that he had neither part nor lot, either in the 
Charles re- constitution of the Assembly or in the decisions to 
take e upthe wn i c h it might come, would be to acknowledge that 
challenge. tne kj n gly authority was no more than a cipher in 
Scotland ; and he knew instinctively that if he gave way in 
Scotland he would soon be called upon to give way in England 
as well. The only question now was on what ground the chal- 
lenge was to be accepted. The Scottish bishops, knowing what 
was before them, advised that the very meeting of the Assembly 
should be prohibited. Hamilton argued that, if this were done, 
the Covenanters would allege that the King had never seriously 
intended that any Assembly should meet at all ; and Charier 
was of the same opinion as Hamilton. 

Hamilton's plan was, that the Assembly should be allowed 
to proceed to business. His first care would be to lay before 
it the scheme of modified Episcopacy which had 
Hamilton's been foreshadowed in the late proclamation. If 
this were rejected, as it would certainly be, and if the 
bishops were summoned as culprits to the bar, he would then 
dissolve the Assembly and declare those who concurred in this 
course to be traitors to the King. ! The bishops, on their part, 
would be feady with a declinator, denouncing the Assembly 
as unconstitutionally elected, and as disqualified, in any case, 
from passing sentence upon bishops. 

At last, the position taken up by Charles was clearly marked. 
There was no thought now of gaining time by spinning out 
negotiations which were to come to nothing. If the Scots 

1 Hamilton to tfce King, Oct. 22, Hamilton Papers, 46. 

1638 IMPENDING WAR. 36? 

would have accepted Charles's offer of limited Episcopacy, and 
The King's nave \ e & tne question of sovereignty untouched, he 
intentions. wou l(j probably have been content to see his con- 
cessions put in force, however unpalatable they were to him- 
self. He knew well, however, that the question of sovereignty 
was at stake, aud he doubtless felt the less anxiety on the 
score of the largeness of the concessions which he had made, 
because he believed that they were certain to be rejected 
"Your commands," Hamilton had lecently written to him, 
" I conceive, chiefly tend at this time so to make a party here 
for your Majesty, and once so to quiet this mad people, that 
hereafter your Majesty may reign as king, and inflict the due 
punishment on such as have so infinitely offended against your 
Majesty's sacred authority." l 

The Scottish leaders, if they knew what was passing in the 
King's mind, as there can be little doubt that they did, had 
Certainty of every reason to make the breach irreparable. They 
resisiance. were not jj^giy t o nave muc h difficulty with their 
followers. Large bodies of men, when once they are set in 
motion, acquire a momentum of their own ; and every scrap of 
news which reached them from England confirmed them in 
the belief that the King meditated an attack upon Scotland, 
whether his .terms were accepted or not. It was known that 
Hamilton had purchased from Mar the command of 
Edinburgh Castle ; and that it was only owing to the 
strict watch kept upon it by the citizens that it had not been 
provided with those warlike stores without which its garrison 
would be unable to stand a siege. It was known, too, that a 
trusty officer had been despatched to take charge of Dumbar- 
ton, that preparations had been made for holding Berwick and 
Carlisle in force, and for creating a magazine of military stores 
at Hull. There had also been widely circulated a forged 
speech, which the Duke of Lennox was said to have delivered 
in defence of his native country, in the English Privy Council, 
from which the inference was drawn that the English Council 
entertained designs hostile to Scotland. 

1 Hamilton to the King, Oct. If, Hamilton Papers, 42. 


As had usually happened in the course of these distractions, 
the Covenanters took the aggressive. On October 24, they 

Oct 2 appeared, in due legal form, before the Edinburgh 
The bishops Presbytery, to charge the pretended bishops with 
the 6 AS- r: having overstepped the limits of their powers, and 
sembiy. eyen w > tn acts Q f dishonesty and profligacy, and re- 
quested the Presbytery to refer their cases to the Assembly. 
As might have been expected, this request was at once com- 
plied with, and the accusation was ordered to be lead publicly 
in all the churches of Edinburgh. 1 

The step thus given induced Charles to resort to threats. 
" You may take public notice," he wrote to Hamilton, " and 

NOV. 17. declare that, as their carriage hath forced me to take 
L h n e oimc<fs care to arm m >' se ^ a gainst any insolence that may be 
that he is committed, so you may give assurance that my care 

preparing J 

for war. of peace is such that all those preparations shall be 
useless, .except they first break out with insolent actions." As 
for the threatened proceedings against the bishops, ' it was 
never heard that one should be both judge and party.' The 
very legality of the constitution of the Assembly was at issue, 
and that was no matter to be determined by the Assembly 
itself. He was still ready to perform everything that he had 
promised, and was prepared to summon 'a new Assembly 
upon the amendment of all the faults and nullities of this." 2 

The Assembly, too, might well have asked whether Charles 
himself were not a party rather than a judge ; but it preferred 
NOV. si. action to recrimination. On November 21, it met in 
Meeting of the Cathedral of Glasgow, the only one amongst the 
sembiy. . Scottish cathedrals which had been saved from de- 
struction and decay by the affectionate reverence of the towns- 
men, and which had survived to witness the new birth of Pres- 
byterianism. In spite of Hamilton's efforts to take the lead into 
his hands, the Assembly remained master of itself. The speech 
which he had prepared for the occasion remained unspoken.* 

1 Large Declaration, 209. 

1 The King to Hamilton, Nov. 17, Burnet, 99. 

Compare Bur net, 94, with Baillie^'i. 124. 


His demand that the question of the elections should be im- 
mediately taken up, was promptly refused. His proposal that 
the Bishops' Declinator should be read was received with con- 
tempt. The Assembly asserted its right to exist by proceeding 
to the choice of a Moderator. l That Moderator was Alexander 
Henderson. The Clerk was Johnston of Warriston. 

The question being thus decided against him, Hamilton's 
only object was to put off the evil hour of dissolution as long as 

possible. The account which he gave the King was 
Hamilton's gloomy beyond measure. "Yesterday, the 2ist," he 

wrote, " was the day appointed for the downsitting of 
the Assembly. Accordingly we met, and truly, sir, my soul was 
never sadder than to see such a sight ; not one gown amongst 
the whole company, many swords but many more daggers 
most of them having left their guns and pistols in their lodg- 
ings. The number of the pretended members are about 260 ; 
each one of these hath two, some three, some four assessors, 
who pretend not to have voice, but only are come to argue and 
assist the Commissioners ; but the true reason is to make up a 
great and confused multitude, and I will add, a most ignorant 
one, for some Commissioners there are who can neither write 
nor read, 2 the most part being totally void of learning, but re- 
solved to follow the opinion of those few ministers who pretend 
to be learned, and those be the most rigid and seditious Puri- 
tans that live. What, then, can be expected but a total 
disobedience to authority, if not a present rebellion ? Yet this 
is no more than that which your Majesty hath had just reason 
this long time to look for, which I would not so much appre- 
hend if I did not find so great an inclination in the body of 
your Council to go along their way ; for, believe me, sir, there 
is no Puritan minister of them all who would more willingly be 
freed of Episcopal governance than they would, whose fault it 
is that this unlucky business is come to this height." 3 

Though, by general confession, Hamilton played well the 

1 Answering to the Speaker in the English House of Commons. 
* This evidently refers to some of the lay members of the Assembly. 
3 Hamilton to the King, Nov. 22, Hamilton Papers, 59. 



part which he had undertaken, his attempt to get up a clerical 
movement against the lay elders failed entirely. On 

in the AS" the zyth, the Assembly declared itself duly consti- 
tuted, and set aside three scantily signed petitions 
NOV. 27. against the lay elders as unworthy of notice. 

The AS- Hamilton knew that the breach could not be 

semDIy con- 
stituted, averted much longer. " So unfortunate have I been 

Hamilton's m tm ' s unlucky country," he wrote to the King, "that 
the ^". 1 f though I did prefer your service before all worldly 
sembiy. considerations . . . yet all hath been to small purpose; 
for I have missed my e'nd in not being able to make your 
Majesty so considerable a party as will be able to curb the in- 
solency of this rebellious nation without assistance from England, 
and greater charge (to your Majesty than this miserable country 
is worth." In his annoyance at the approach of that open 
quarrel in which he expected to be the first to suffer, he dealt 
his blows impartially around. Everyone, excepting himself 
and the King, appeared to have been in fault. The 
on the bishops had done things which were 'not justifiable 
bishops. ^ the j awg , 4The j r pr j de was g reat) but their folly 

was greater.' Some of them were not ' of the best lives.' 
Others were 'inclined to simony.' He then, with characteristic 
His advice confidence in schemes as yet untried, assured the 
dutt h ofthe King that success would be easily secured. By block- 
war - ading the seaports he would ruin the commerce of the 

country. So far Hamilton was of one mind with Wentworth ; 
but he believed what Wentworth did not believe, that it was 
still possible to raise a force in Scotland to fight on Charles's 
side. Huntly, he argued, should be named as the King's 
lieutenant in the noith. Traquair or Roxburgh should hold 
the same authority in the south. There should be a royal 
commissioner no doubt, himself at the head of both. It 
would be difficult to carry arms and ammunition into Edin- 
burgh Castle, but it would be easy to secure Dumbarton by 
sending soldiers from Ireland. " I have now only one suit to 
your Majesty," he ended by saying " that if my sons live, they 
may be bred in England, and made happy by service in the 
Court ; and if they prove not loyal to the Crown, my curse be 


on them. I wish my daughters be never married in Scot- 
land." 1 

On the 28th, the day after this letter was written, the crisis 
arrived. The Bishops' Declinator was presented. Henderson 
NOV. 28. put it to the vote whether the Assembly was a com- 
DeciFnator ps> P etent j u dge of their cause, notwithstanding their 
presented, assertion to the contrary. Before the answer was 
Question ' ven Hamilton rose. He read the King's offer, 
between that all grievances should be abolished, and that the 


and the bishops should be responsible to future assemblies ; 
but he refused to acknowledge the legality of the 
Assembly before him. The only Assembly which he would 
acknowledge was one elected by ministers alone, and composed 
of ministers alone. In a long speech Henderson ascribed to 
the King very large powers indeed, even in ecclesiastical 
matters. The constitutional point raised by Hamilton he alto- 
gether evaded. No assembly likes to hear an attack on the 
basis upon which it rests. This one refused to re-open a 
question which it probably considered as settled by its previous 
rejection of the petitions against the lay elders. Hamilton 
pleaded in vain for further delay. "I must ask," said the 
Moderator, "if this assembly finds themselves competent 
judges." A warm debate ensued. " If the bishops," said 
Loudoun, " decline the judgment of a National Assembly, I 
know not a competent judgment seat for them but the King of 
Heaven." "I stand to the King's prerogative," replied the 
commissioner, " as supreme judge over all causes civil and eccle- 
siastical, to whom I think they may appeal, and not let the 
causes be reasoned here." 

No common understanding was any longer possible. After 
a few more words, Hamilton declared the Assembly to be dis- 
solved in the King's name, and left the church. As 
dissolves" the soon as he was gone, the Assembly resolved that it 
Assembly. ^^ entitled to remain in session in spite of anything 
that had been done. Its first act was to pass a vote claiming 
competency to sit in judgment on the bishops. 

1 Hamilton to the King, Nov. 27, Hardwicke S. J. ii. 1 13. 
B B 2 


At the moment of Hamilton's departure an incident occurred 
from which the Assembly must have derived no slight encourage- 
Argyie's rnent. Argyle, like Huntly, was a potentate exercising 
declaration, almost royal power. He could bring 5, ooo Highlanders 
into the field. Like Huntly, he came of a family which had long 
kept up its attachment to the Papal Church, and his father, who 
had lately died, had been for many years in the military service of 
the King of Spain in the Netherlands. During his father's absence 
he had exercised over the clan the authority which he now bore 
in his own name. Refusing to follow his father in his adoption 
of the Roman Catholic religion, he adapted himself to the 
habits and ideas of the inhabitants of the southern lowlands. 
He was often to be seen in Edinburgh, and he took his place 
as a member of the Privy Council. He thus early became a 
national, rather than, like Huntly, a local politician. As a 
nobleman, he shared in the jealousy of the bishops which was 
common to his class ; but he was politic and wary, not willing 
to commit himself hastily to any cause, and tied to more than 
ordinary caution by his rank as a Privy Councillor. He was 
ambitious of power, and unscrupulous in his choice of means. 
Unlike the other noblemen of the time, he was absolutely 
without personal courage. He could not look upon a hostile 
array without being overcome by sheer terror. Something of 
this feeling was manifested in his political career. He had the 
sure instinct which led him to place himself on the s'de of 
numbers, the pride, too, of capacity to grasp clearly the ideas 
of which those numbers were dimly conscious. In times of 
trouble, such capacity is power indeed. Then, if ever, the 
multitude, certain of their aim, uncertain of the means by which 
that aim is to be reached, look for the guidance of one in 
whose mental power they can repose confidence, and whose 
constancy they can trust. Such a man was Argyle. It is 
probable enough that there was no conscious hypocrisy in the 
choice which he was now to make. He would hardly have 
maintained himself in power so long as he did if he had not 
shared the beliefs of those around him. He was probably as 
incapable of withstanding a popular belief as he was of with- 
standinu an armv of his foes. At all events, the time was now 


come for him to declare himself. When Hamilton swept out 
of the church, followed by the members of the Privy Council, 
Argyle alone remained behind. He took the part of the many 
against the few. " I have not striven to blow the bellows," he 
said, " but studied to keep matters in as soft a temper as I could; 
and now I desire to make it known to you that I take you all 
for members of a lawful Assembly, and honest countrymen." 

Till December. 20 the Assembly remained in session. As 

a matter of course, it swept away the Service Book, the Canons, 

_. , and the Articles of Perth. It received with boundless 

December. . . 

Further pro- credulity every incredible charge reported on the 
the AS- merest hearsay against the bishops. It declared epis- 
copacy to be for ever abolished, and all the Assemblies 
held in episcopal times to be null and void. It re-established 
the Presbyterian government, and ejected those ministers whose 
teaching had not been consonant with Calvinistic orthodoxy. 1 

The challenge thus uttered by the Scottish Assembly was 

in the main the same as that which had been uttered by the 

English Parliament in 1629, and which was to be 


between the uttered again by it in 1640. The Assembly de- 

Scottish J . J . 

Assembly manded that the religion recognised by the nation 
English itself should be placed beyond all contradiction, and 
Parliament, ^at neither the King nor anyone else should venture 
to modify its ceremonies or its creed. Many conditions were 
present in the North to make the outbreak occur in Scotland 
earlier than it did in England. Charles's attack upon the 
religion of Scotland had been more sweeping and more pro- 
vocative than anything that he had done in England. The 
Scottish nation, too, was more ready to combine than the 
English nation was. Government in England was a present 
reality. In Scotland it was but the shadow of an absentee 
sovereign. In the people itself, the influence of the Calvinistic 
clergy produced a strange uniformity of thought and character. 
Even the noblemen appear to have been cast very much in a 
common mould. It is true that Argyle and Montrose stand 
out amongst their fellows with distinct characters. The %est 

1 Peterkin s Records, 128. Baillie, i. 165. Hamilton to the King, 
Dec. I, Hamilton Papers, 62. 


are scarcely more than names. To pass from a history which 
tells of Wentworth and Northumberland, Cottington and Port- 
land, Essex and Saye, to a history which tells of Rothes and 
Loudoun, Balmerino and Lindsay, is like passing from the 
many-coloured life of the Iliad to the Gyas and Cloanthus of 
the ^Eneid. The want of originality of character made com- 
bination the easier. It made it the easier, too, to place the 
real direction of the movement in the hands of the ministers. 
Whatever forces were behind, the revolution which had been 
effected was a Presbyterian revolution. The preacher was and 
remained the guide and hero of Scottish nationality. The 
preacher was strong because he appealed to an ideal conviction 
larger and nobler than his logic. Bishops were to be proscribed, 
not because particular bishops had done amiss, but in the 
name of the principle of parity amongst all who were engaged 
in the ministration of the same truths. The influence of the 
King was to be set aside in the Church, not because Charles 
had been unwarrantably meddlesome, but because the Church 
knew but one Heavenly King. It is impossible to doubt that 
the Scottish people grew the nobler and the purer for these 
thoughts far nobler and purer than if they had accepted even 
a larger creed at the bidding of any earthly king. Of liberty 
of thought these Scottish preachers neither knew anything nor 
cared to know anything. To the mass of their followers they 
were kindly guides, reciprocating in their teaching the faith 
which existed around them. Scotland was, however, no country 
for eccentricities of thought and action. Hardihood was there, 
and brave championship of the native land and the native 
religion. Spiritual and mental freedom would have one day 
to be learned from England. 

Charles, after the rejection of his authority at Glasgow, 
might wish for peace, but, unless he was prepared to sacrifice 
War inevit- a ll tnat ^ e ^ a ^ ever counted worth struggling for, he 
able - could not avoid war. For him the saying attributed 

to his father, " No bishop, no king," was emphatically true. 
Hff'had not chosen bishops in Scotland amongst men who 
were imbued with the religious sentiment around them. He 
had rather sought for those who would serve as instruments in 


imposing his own religious practice upon an unwilling people. 
It is true that before the Assembly met at Glasgow, he had 
surrendered all the original objects of contention. Liturgy 
and Canons, Articles of Perth, and irresponsible episcopacy 
had been given up. It is true that between Charles's moderate 
episcopacy, responsible to Assemblies, and the direct govern- 
ment of the Assemblies themselves, the difference does not 
seem to have been very great ; but to a man like Charles 
the appearance of victory was of greater importance than vic- 
tory itself. He could not yield honourably and gracefully as 
Edward I. and Elizabeth would have yielded, and he felt 
that all was lost if he acknowledged that he had yielded to 
force what he had not been ready to yield to argument. The 
danger would not be confined to Scotland alone. His 
authority in England rested not on armed force, but on tra- 
ditional conviction that he was supreme over all causes eccle- 
siastical and civil. If the Scottish Assembly claimed for itself 
the supremacy in ecclesiastical causes, it would not be long 
before the same claim would be put forward by an English 
Parliament. The question between Charles and his subjects 
was no longer one of forms of prayer and of Church govern- 
ment. It had become one reaching to the very foundations of 
political order. 

Nor was it only upon his relations with England that 
Charles was compelled to cast his eyes. He knew that his 

position in the face of the Continental Powers was 
foreign reia- seriously weakened by the Scottish troubles, and he 

believed that those troubles had been fomented by 
the French Government. His diplomacy had been as unsuc- 
The congress cessful in the past year on the Continent, as it had 
at Hamburg. been j n Edinburgh and Glasgow. His hopes of re- 
covering the Palatinate for his nephew seemed as little likely 
to be realised as they had ever been. The meeting of 
ambassadors at Hamburg, to which had been referred the 
conditions of the treaty which had been under negotiation at 
Paris in 1637,' was long delayed, and it was not till the summer 

1 See page 217. 


of 1638 that Sir Thomas Roe was despatched to meet the pleni- 
potentiaries of France and Sweden in that city. Roe soon 
found that he could accomplish nothing. Charles still asked 
for an engagement from France and Sweden, that they would 
make no peace without the full restoration of the Palatinate, and 
those Powers still refused to comply with his wishes unless he 
would bind himself to join them in war by land as well as by sea. 1 
With this result Richelieu was well satisfied. He knew 
that Charles, with the Scottish dispute on his hands, would be 
unable to take part against France. More than that 

Charles s re- 

lations with he had long ceased to expect. 2 

Charles himself was less clear-sighted. He had 

He wishes to 

help his already lent himself to schemes for placing his nephew 

nephew. i ,. i i i 

at the head of an army in the field, at the very moment 
when he was looking in vain for the means of levying an army 
against the Scots. He actually sent the young man 3o,ooo/. 
to raise troops, and Charles Lewis used the money to buy the 
allegiance of the garrison of Meppen. The Imperialists in the 
Seizure of neighbourhood took the garrison by surprise, and oc- 
the P i^pe b - y cu pi e d tri e town without any serious resistance. In 
riaiuts. the summer the young Prince started from the Nether- 
lands at the head of a small force to join the Swedes. The 
Swedes were not anxious for his assistance, and left him unaided 
in the face of the enemy. He himself escaped to 
' e Hamburg, but his brother, Prince Rupert, with Lord 

Craven and others of his principal officers, were taken 
prisoners. Charles, however, did not relax his efforts. He kept 
Meiander's U P f r some time a negotiation with Richelieu, with 
troops. t h e object of inducing the Cardinal to share with him 
the expense of procuring the services of a small army under 
General Melander, which was at that time waiting to sell itself 
to the highest bidder. Richelieu, however, preferred to ac- 
quire the arrny for himself, and Charles was doomed to a fresh 
disappointment. 3 

1 Roe's despatches, S. P. Germany. 

* Chavigny's despatches, Bibl. Nat. Fr. 15,915. 

* Despatches in S. P. Holland and Germany. Chavigny to Bellievre, 
Nov. 12, Dec. 14, Bibl. Nat. Fr. 15,915, fol. 208, 230, 


Earlier in the year, as soon as Charles had discovered that 

no very zealous assistance was to be expected from Richelieu, 

he turned in the direction of Spain. Under the 

Charles s re- . * 

lationswith name of a private merchant, he sold 3,000 barrels of 
powder to the Government of the Spanish Nether- 
lands, and lent the services of his fleet to convoy them safely 
to Dunkirk. Then followed a lone secret negotia- 

Secret nego- 
tiation at tion with the Princess of Pfalzburg, a sister of the 

exiled Duke of Lorraine, which was carried on by 
Gerbier at Brussels with the sanction of the Cardinal Infant 
The scheme of an alliance with Spain split on much the same 
rock as that on which the conference at Hamburg had split. 
The Spaniards required that Charles should immediately 
declare war against France, and Charles required that the 
Emperor and the Spaniards should immediately deliver up to 
his nephew so much at least of the Palatinate as was actually 
in their hands. 1 In the Council of State at Madrid, Olivares 
scornfully asked how it was that Charles, who had his hands 
full at home, could talk of affronting France and Holland. 
No doubt, he added, the whole negotiation was mere trickery. 2 
Charles had much to do to conceal from the world the 
fact that all through the summer and autumn of 1638 he was 
Charles and simultaneously offering his alliance to France and 
Cardenas. to gpain. A despatch written by Cardenas, the 
Spanish Resident in London, fell into the hands of the Swedes. 
It contained a statement that the Emperor was negotiating 
with the King of England, with the expectation that all diffi- 
culties about the Palatinate would soon be settled at a con- 
ference at Brussels. Luckily for Charles, Cardenas knew 
nothing of the real negotiation in the hands of the Princess 
of Pfalzburg, and had only been informed of a project put 
forward without authority by Taylor, the English Resident at 
Vienna, and disavowed by Charles as soon as it came to his 
ears. Charles was therefore able with literal truth, though with 

1 Some notices of this negotiation are in the Clarendon S. P. A full 
account may be derived from Gerbier's own despatches, S. P. Flanders. 

1 Consulta of the Council of State, Dec. , Simancas MSS. 2521. 


no more than literal truth, to protest loudly to the world that 
he had been grossly calumniated, and that Taylor had acted 
in defiance of his instructions. 1 Cardenas was suspended 
from all intercourse with the Court, 2 and Taylor was recalled 
and committed to the Tower. 3 

Though neither France nor Spain entertained any hope of 

serious aid from Charles, there were many indirect ways in 

which his goodwill might be of use. Both Olivares 

Richelieu's ,_.,,. , - 

overtures to and Richelieu, therefore, were anxious to be on 

friendly terms with the Queen. In March 1638 the 

Cardinal conceded to her the boon for which she had been so 

long begging, and released De Jars from captivity. 4 In April 

April. a heavier weight was thrown into the opposite scale. 

T r h ^iP uchess The Duchess of Chevreuse gay, witty, and licen- 

pf Chevreuse ar-ji ji 

in England, tious arrived to plot against the Cardinal from the 
secure distance of the English Court. 

The arrival of the Duchess was the precursor of the 

1 Windebank to Hopton, Dec. 27, 1638. Windebank to Taylor, 
Jan. II. Taylor's Relation, April 4, 1639, Clarendon MSS. 1161, 1170, 
1218. Writing to Gerbier, Windebank blames him for not at once dis- 
avowing the story. " This," he adds, " you might safely have done with- 
out fearing to be guilty of Sir Henry Wotton's definition of an ambassador, 
seeing you know there is no direct treaty at all between His Majesty and 
them, and that all that has been done hath been by way of proposition 
moving from that side and managed by second hands, His Majesty neither 
appearing nor being engaged nor obliged to anything ; and to this purpose 
His Majesty hath answered the French Ambassador ; namely, that some 
propositions have been made to him from that side ; but hath absolutely 
disavowed any formal or direct treaty at all, or that ever any letters to this 
purpose have passed between himself and them ; and this, besides that it 
is a truth, His Majesty had reason to do, unless he were more sure of the 
success of that which hath been proposed from your parts, for by avowing 
thit to be a treaty he is sure to dissolve that with France, and so he may 
run hazard to lose both." Windebank to Gerbier, Jan. 4, 1639, S. P. 

2 In the S. P. Spain is a copy of the intercepted despatch, together 
with the correspondence with Cardenas on the subject. 

* Windebank to Hopton. Sept. 29, 1639, Clarendon S. P. ii. 71. 
Chavigny to Bellievre, j^, March , Bibl. Nat. Fr. 15,915, fol. 
93, 97- See page 98. 


arrival of another visitor of more exalted rank. The Queen 
Mother had long been weary of exile from France. All hopes 
of her restoration by the help of an insurrection of her partisans 
had long since passed away, and now that she had ceased to 
be serviceable to Spain, she was treated with cold 

1 he Queen 

Mother at courtesy at Brussels. The pension doled out to her 
was irregularily paid, and she looked back with fond 
regret to her old sumptuous life at Paris, where courtiers and 
artists had rivalled one another in doing her honour. 

She could not believe that it was out of Charles's power to 

obtain for her permission to return. Charles, at her entreaty, 

put the question to the French Government. The 

She desires r 

to return to response was unfavourable. Mary de Medicis attri- 

France. . I-I/-M ^ i 

buted the failure to her presence on Spanish soil. 
Under the pretext of. a visit to Spa, she left Brussels in the 
beginning of August, and crossed the frontier into the Dutch 
Aug. 4. Netherlands/' She was there received with every 
nc s h sthe s ' n f res P ect by the Prince of Orange and the 
frontier. States-General. Her presence soon caused a mis- 
understanding between the Dutch Government and the French 
p t Ambassador. The design of proceeding to England, 
visit Eng- which had probably been formed long before, took 

entire possession of her mind. 

Charles had always steadily refused her permission to land 
in his dominions. He knew that her mere presence would 
help to embroil him with France, and that the men whom she 
most trusted, Cogneux, Fabroni, and Monsigot, were steeped in 

intrigue, and were Richelieu's bitterest enemies. He 

Aug. 13. e ' 

Charles re- therefore at once sent instructions to Boswell, his 
agent at the Hague, to remonstrate with her. Bos- 
well's remonstrances were coldly received. At last 

Aug. 30. , j i i 

he learned that she was making secret preparations 
Sept. 24. f or the voyage. He appealed to Fabroni, and 
^ t Fabroni protested that there was no truth in the 

report. The next day the Queen Mother embarked 
for England. ' 

1 Coke to Boswell, Aug. 13 ; Boswell to Fahroni, Sept. 25 ; Boswell 
to Windebank, Aug. 9, Sept. 8, 26, 27, S. P.' Holland. 


On September 30 Monsigot presented himself before Charles 
to announce that his mistress was already on the way, and that, 

g^ unless he turned her away from his ports, she would 

Monsigot's soon be on shore in England. Charles had not the 
heart to repel her, but he would willingly have seen 
her land without her disreputable train. Henrietta Maria's 
pleadings against this insult to her mother bore down his op- 
position, and orders were given that the mother of the Queen 
of England should be received with all the honours due to her 
exalted rank. No one, except her daughter, wished to see 

Oct her in England. "I pray God," wrote Laud, "her 

Laud's coming do not spend the King more than . . would 
he n proposed content the Swedes." l There was no remedy. Her 
arrival, said Windebank, " is so flat and sudden a 
surprisal as, without our ports should be shut against her, it is 
not to be avoided." 

Mary de Medicis landed at Harwich on October 19. On 
her way to London she was received with every sign of a cor- 

Oct. 19. dial welcome. The King met her at Chelmsford. 
MotheVfo 11 As sne P asse d through London, the Lord Mayor 
England. offered her his hospitality. The streets were lined 
with scaffoldings hung with rich cloths, and thronged by citizens 
ready to do honour to their guest, or at least to satisfy their own 
curiosity. At St. James's she was received by the Queen, who 
had parted from her thirteen years before. With motherly 
pride she presented her children to their grandmother. St. 
James's Palace was assigned to her as a residence. 2 

In vain Charles urged Louis to allow his mother to return 

Newnego- to France, on her engagement to meddle no more 
nation for 

nation for w j^ p O iJtj cs . i n vam did she entreat Bellievre. the 

her return to 

France. French Ambassador, to plead her cause with the 
Cardinal. The haughty widow of Henry IV. humiliated herself 

1 Laud to Roe, Oct. 4, Works, vii. 486. 

2 Sa\v<Mi's News-Letter, Oct. ^, Nov. -. La Serre, Flistoire de PEntrh 

de la Reine-Mb~e. It is not necessary to believe all that the writer says 
about the enthusiasm with which the Queen was greeted. He says that 
the French Ambassador welcomed her, which is certainly untrue. 


to no purpose. She was told that if she would betake herself 
December, to Florence a. provision suitable to her rank would be 
the'^rotL- Destowe d upon her. In France she had always been 
tion. troublesome, and she could not be admitted there. 

Such an offer was unacceptable. Rather than revisit the home of 
her childhood, where she would find herself a stranger amongst 
strangers, she preferred to remain in England, a burdensome 
pensioner on Charles's bounty. 1 

The year 1638 did not end prosperously for Charles. His 
overtures had been rejected both by France and Spain. The 
The struggle Congress at Hamburg, without results for him, was 
Uprar not without results for others. A fresh compact was 
Rhme. made between France and Sweden for a renewed 
attack upon the hereditary lands of the Emperor. Equipped 
with French subsidies, Bernhard of Weimar fell upon those 
Austrian lands upon the Upper Rhine, which barred the way 
of the French armies. Before the year came to an end he had 
won a great victory at Rheinfelden, and had forced the strong 
fortress of Breisach to surrender. To Richelieu, the surrender 
of Breisach gave the power of entering Germany at his pleasure. 
It implied, too, the power of cutting off supplies sent by land 
to the Spanish Netherlands. Richelieu felt that the great 
objects of his ambition were already within his grasp. A few 
months before, the birth of the Dauphin, who was afterwards 
Louis XIV., had come to strengthen the basis of his power. 
It would be a son of the master whom he had served who 
would be the next ruler of France, not his enemy Gaston, or 
any ally of the exiled Mary de Medicis. 

The news of Bernhard's successes was almost as unwelcome 
at Whitehall as the news of Hamilton's failure at Glasgow. 
France was now strong in that very part of Germany 
dissatisfac- from which the Palatinate might most easily be over- 
awed. Nor was this all. The danger by land was 
more than matched by the danger by sea. The French navy 
was growing in numbers and efficiency. One French fleet had 

1 Rellievre to Chavigny, Dec. - 3 , Arch, des Aff. tr. xlvii. 305. 
Memoir for Bellievre, Jan. , Bibl. Nat. Fr. 15,915, fol. 258. 


burnt Spanish galleys in the Bay of Biscay. Another French 
fleet had repulsed Spanish ships in the Gulf of Genoa. It was 
by no means improbable that before long a triumphant French 
Armada would sail up the Channel to join the Dutch in the 
long-projected attack upon Dunkirk. No wonder Charles 
looked with wondering bitterness upon the swelling tide of 
Richelieu's success. No wonder that he fancied that he saw 
the hand of Richelieu in the Scottish 'troubles. Everyone who 
wished well to Charles was anxious that those troubles might 
be allayed. Till peace were established in Scotland, England 
could speak with but a feeble voice on the Continent. " The 
news of Scotland," wrote Roe, " is mortal to our reputation 
abroad. I hope it is not so ill as malignity spreads it." l 

With the opening of the New Year therefore, Charles had 
to face a Continental difficulty as well as a Scottish difficulty. 
Nothing would ever persuade him that the two were 
Relation of not far more closely connected than they really were. 
troubkfto h Tne Scottish resistance seemed to him so entirely 
Continental incomprehensible, that he could not account for it, 
except on the supposition that Richelieu was at the 
bottom of the whole movement, stirring up rebellion in the 
North, in order to keep England from interfering on the Con- 
tinent. In reality, Richelieu was doing nothing of the kind. 
Thoroughly convinced that Charles was rushing upon his own 
ruin, he did not think it worth while to interfere to stir the 
coals of an insurrection which was burning brightly enough 
without any aid from him. The very suspicion, however, was 
enough to increase Charles's anxieties. In one way or another, 
the Scottish troubles must be brought to an end, if his rule 
were not to become as despicable abroad as it was insecure at 

Step by step, therefore, pushed on by fate, which is but the 
consequence of past errors, Charles moved slowly and unwil- 
lingly towards war. On January 15 Hamilton told, 
Hamjiton 1 . before the English Privy Council, the story of his 
relation. bootless mission. The discussions which followed 
were long and anxious. Charles inclined to continue negotiation. 
' ' Roc to Coke, Dec. 14, S. P. Germany. 

1 639 WARLIKE PLANS. 383 

Disaffection, as he well knew, was widely spread in England, 
and any attempt to levy money would be met by redoubled 
outcries for a Parliament l It little mattered what scheme of 
pacification might nebulously form itself in Charles's mind. 
Even before Hamilton's arrival, Sir Jacob Astley, a veteran who 
had served long in the Netherlands, was sent down to the 
North to muster the trained bands, and to bring them to due 
efficiency. 2 It was, indeed, officially stated that the object of 
these precautions was resistance to a possible invasion, 3 but it 
was hardly likely that such an announcement would be seriously 
believed. On January 17, the Committee on Scotch 
Affairs recommended the King to select from the 
trained bands a force of 30,000 men. It was arranged that the 
King should go to York in April, to treat or fight as occasion 
might serve, and that Newcastle and Hull should be placed in 
a state of defence. 4 Arms and munitions of war were brought 
over from the Continent in large quantities. 

Men and arms alone were not enough. "If money is to 
be found, and the Puritans kept quiet," wrote a disinterested 
Financial onlooker, " all will go well." 5 Whatever the Puri- 
schemes. tans m ight do at some future time, they showed no 
signs of stirring now. For the navy, of course, ship-money 
was still available ; yet, either because the excitement roused 
by the result of Hampden's trial had alarmed the Court, or 
because, in view of the probability that money would be needed 
for land- service, it was thought wiser to decrease the burdens 
caused by the fleet as much as possible, no writ of ship- 

Ship-money. . , , , . . 

money was issued at the usual time in the autumn 
of 1638. When January came, the writs were indeed sent out, 

1 Salvetti's News-Letttr, Jan. ^. Bellievre to De Noyers, Jan. ^' 
Aff. Elr. xlvii. fol. 341, 351. JoacHimi to the States-General, Jan. ^' 

Aid. AfSS. 17,677 Q, fol. 10. Giustinian to the Doge, Jan. ^|, Ven. 
1 'ranscripts. 

2 Astley to Windebank, Jan. 4, II, S. P. Dom. ccccix. 24, 65. 
8 The King to the Lords-Lieutenant, Jan. n, ibid, ccccix. 59. 
4 Minutes of the Committee, Jan. 17, ibid, ccccix. 106, 107. 

- Salvetti's News-Letter, J -. 


but only 6g,oool. was asked for : about a third of the amount 
levied in former years. It was calculated that this would be 
sufficient to fit out the eighteen vessels which it was proposed 
to despatch to the coast of Scotland under Pennington's 
command. 1 

It was less easy to find means for the equipment and pay- 
ment of the army. Early in the year, calculations were made 
26 ^ l ^ e ex P ense w ^ich would be entailed by the army 
The nobility of 30,000 men which it had been originally intended 
serve. r ' to place on the Borders. Such an army, it appeared, 
The English could only be maintained at the rate of 935,0007. a 
force. year. 2 So large an expenditure was beyond Charles's 

means, and he therefore resolved to content himself with a 
smaller force. One scheme there was which recommended 
itself as in some small measure an alleviation of the burden. 
By their feudal tenures, the nobility were bound to follow the 
King to war when his banner was displayed before him. It was 
true that many years had passed since the fulfilment of this 
duty had been required ; but the King, who had replenished 
his exchequer by enforcing the antiquated obligation to take up 
knighthood, might very well replenish his army by enforcing 
the antiquated obligation to personal service. Every peer of 
the realm was therefore directed to appear in person in defence 
of the Borders, bringing with him such a following as his dignity 
required. It was gleefully calculated at Whitehall, that in this 
way the Royal camp would receive an accession of at least 1,200 
horse without any payment whatever. 3 

Early in February, orders were given for the levy of 6,000 
foot and horse, to form the nucleus of the larger force 
which was to gather round the Royal standard. To these were 

1 Order in Council, Jan. 23, S. P. Dom. ccccix. 194. 

2 S. P. Dom. ccccxv. 119. Mr. Hamilton dates this paper conjec- 
turally in March. The project had been abandoned by that time, and it 
can hardly have been drawn up much later than the end of January. In 
his Preface he speaks erroneously of the number of 30,000 being that which 
actually marched. 

* The King to Lord Grey of Werk, Jan. 26. Northumberland to 
Con way, Jan. 29, S. P. Dom. ccccx. 24, 80. 


to be added 4,006 of the trained bands of Yorkshire, Durham, 
and Northumberland. Charles would thus, after 

Feoruary. ' 

Seven taking account of the cavalry furnished by the no- 

men^o"be bility, have an army of about 12,000 men, disposable 
for service in the field. For garrison duty at Ber- 
wick the Earl of Lindsey was to bring 2,000 men from Lincoln- 
shire, and the Earl of Cumberland was to command at Carlisle 
with a force of 800 soldiers, of whom 300 were to be supplied 
from Wentworth's Irish levies. A little army of 5,000 men 
from the eastern counties was to follow Hamilton on shipboard, 
that it might be landed r.t Aberdeen to join Huntly in the 
North. Taken altogether, the forces at the King's disposal 
might be reckoned as not far short of 20,000 men. 1 

Such a force would probably have been insufficient for the 
work in hand, even if Charles had been assured of national 
Feeling in support. Of this, however, there was no sign. The 
Eng.and. nobility, indeed, had either obeyed his summons, or, 
in cases of sickness or old age, had sent money in lieu of ser- 
vice. Wentworth, detained in Ireland by his official duties, had 
directed his steward to pay 2,ooo/. to the King as soon as he 
appeared in the North. The Catholic Marquis of Winchester 
sent 5oo/. On the other hand, the Puritan Lord Brooke, when 
summoned to attend the King, replied that he ' did not appre- 
hend himself obliged to any aid of that nature but by Parlia- 
ment.' 2 The equally Puritan Lord Saye returned a somewhat 
similar answer. The letter of the law was, however, clearly 
against them, and on second thoughts they expressed their 
readiness to attend his Majesty, at least within the realm of 

For the army thus constituted it was necessary to provide 
commanders. The general-in-chief was to be the Earl of 
Arundel, the stately nobleman who had fared ill in his mission 
to Vienna, and who, as a Catholic by conviction, hated the 

1 The details will be found in the accounts of the Treasurer of the 
Army, Audit Office Declared Accounts, Bundle 301, Roll 1148. Hamil- 
ton's men are there given as 4,500. Hamilton himself reckons them at 
5,000, perhaps counting officers, artillerymen, and supernumeraries. 

2 Minutes by Nicholas, Feb., 5. P. Dom. ccccxiii. 117. 


Presbyterian Scots. The new commander had never looked 
en the face of war. It had been originally intended to confer 
the command of the horse upon the Earl of Essex, who had seen 
some service in the Netherlands. ' The Queen, however, begged 
Holland, this post for her favourite, the Earl of Holland, the 
thTHoisef most incompetent of men, and Essex had to content 

and Essex himself with the less brilliant office of second in corn- 
second in 
command, mand of the entire army. The seeds of jealousy 

were thus .sown before a single regiment was formed. Arundel 
vowed that he would throw up his command rather than see 
Holland in a post of such authority, and it was only upon the 
warm intercession of the King that he was induced to withdraw 
his resignation. 2 

- Even if Charles should resolve on increasing his army be- 
yond the limit originally fixed, it would leave much to be desired 
in point of training. A body of veterans, if such a body could 
be found, would form a nucleus round which the raw English 
levies would soon acquire the consistency of a disciplined force. 
Such veterans were to be found in Flanders, and as early as in 
1638. the summer of 1638 a proposal had been made to 
Spanish the Spanish Government for the loan of a body of 

soldiers . , . 

asked for. troops. On that occasion Cardenas had been in- 
structed to refuse the request. So incurable was the distrust 
which Charles had sown around him, that Olivares feared lest 
a victory in Scotland might be followed by a league between 
England and France, in the same way that Richelieu feared 
lest it might be followed by a league between England and 
Spain. 3 

The scheme, dropped for a time, was revived a few months 
later. In January 1639, a certain Colonel Gage, a Catholic 
officer in the Spanish service, communicated to the English 

1 His service in the Palatinate, of which historians are fond of talking, 
was next to nothing. 

7 Northumberland to Went worth, Jan. 29, Straffitrd Letters, ii. 276. 
The King to Arundel, Feb. 9, S. P. Dom. ccccxii. 74. Con to Barberini, 

Feb. i, Aad. MSS. 15,392, fol. 39. 

1 Philip IV, to Cardenas, Sept. - 3 -, 1638, Simancas MSS. 2575. 


Government his belief that the Cardinal Infant might be 

1639. induced to supply Charles with a veteran force for his 
G^s ary ' Scotch campaign, if he were allowed to raise from 
proposal. y ear to year a large number of recruits in England 
and Ireland by voluntary enlistment. A special emissary was 
February, accordingly sent to Brussels to carry on the nego- 
rds S annot tiation. The Cardinal Infant received him politely, 
be spared, j^ assured him that, menaced as he was by French 
armies, he could not spare a single man. 1 

Charles was thus saved from the consequences of the 
most ruinous step which he had hitherto contemplated. It can 
hardly be doubted that if these Spanish regiments had set foot 
in England, the whole country from the Cheviots to the Land's 
End would have broken out into instant rebellion. 

Trained and war-worn troops, the value of which had been 
thus recognised by Charles, were not wanting to Scotland. The 
Scottish vei T poverty of the Scots, through no prevision of 
t S he d GermaT tneir own > na< ^ mSL & e them strong. For many a year, 
War - a stream of needy, stalwart adventurers had been 

flowing over from Scotland into Germany to be converted into 
hardy warriors by Gustavus Adolphus and his lieutenants. 
Many a man had returned, bringing with him his share of the 
plunder of Germany, together with an enthusiasm for the Pro- 
testantism which had been to him a war cry leading to fortune, 
as well as a strengthening faith in the hour of peril. Small as 
the population of Scotland was, when the hour of battle came, 
she would be able to oppose to the loose ranks of untrained 
peasants which were all that Charles could bring into the field, 
an army which comprised at least a fair proportion of practised 

No special credit is due to the Covenanting leaders for 
being ready to make use of the instrument of war which cir- 
cumstances had placed in their hands. But credit is due to 

1 Col. Gage to G. Gage, p' 2 . Instructions to Col. Gage, Feb. 5. 

Col. Gage to Windebank, Feb. ~ G Gage to Windebank, ^ eb -' 3 ' 

26 Mar 

C'arendon S. P. ii. 21. 


them for avoiding the fault into which a proud and high-spirited 
The com- nobility is most apt to fall. Very early they resolved 
s c a o n uish f thc tnat no R tnes or Loudoun should contest, as Essex 
army. an( j Holland were contesting, for those posts of mili- 

tary trust to which they were unequal. The professional army 
of Scotland was to have a professional commander. 

The leader of whom they were in search was found in 
Alexander Leslie, an illegitimate son of a Fifeshire laird. 
Alexander Deformed in person, and of low stature, he had 
Leslie. served with credit in the German wars, and, if he 
had not gained high renown as a strategist, he was skilled in 
the arts by which recruits are trained into soldiers, and posts 
1638. are occupied and held. In the spring of 1638, 
April. when he was in command of a force in the Swedish 
Scotland. service in Pomerania, he visited Scotland in order to 
fetch away his wife and family. On his way he was presented 
to the King in London, and told Roe that, if his present 
masters could spare him, he would be happy to undertake the 
command of the army which it was at that time proposed to 
raise for the Elector Palatine. 1 Thrown into the midst of the 
excitement then spreading over his native country, he may even 
in the spring of 1638 have seen his way to a position which 
promised more than the service of the feeble Charles Lewis. 
It is not probable that he was himself very enthusiastic in the 
cause-of the Covenant, or in any other cause whatever. For 
that very reason he was the better fitted to take the command 
of an army in which there were many enthusiasts. No doubt 
he entered into communication with Rothes, the head of the 
family of Leslie ; and, whether any actual offer of command 
were made to him at this time or not, Rothes was not likely 
to forget so useful a kinsman. 

Leslie returned to the Continent. Before the end of the 
year he was again in Scotland, after slipping through the watch 

1 Roe to Elizabeth, March 22 ; Elizabeth to Roc, April 2, S. P. 
Germany Zonca to the Doge, April 6, Ven. Transcripts. R. O. This 
puts an end to the story which has been copied from Spaldirg hy most 
writers, that Leslie came home with the intention of settling in Scotland. 
On the fable of his inability to write, see Masson's Life of Alilten, ii. 55. 


of the English cruisers in a small barque. He was able to 
gladden the hearts of his fellow-countrymen by the 

November. * i,,,-iii , 

Returns to announcement that he had induced large numbers of 

:ot an . g co ts arriving in Germany to take the Covenant, and 

that he had procured large stores of military supplies for the 

use of the Scottish army at home. 1 From time to time arms 

and powder were conveyed across the sea. Some of these 

supplies were intercepted by Charles's agents, but the greater 

part was safely landed. Soon after the conclusion of the 

1639. sittings of the Assembly of Glasgow, Leslie was 

February. mves t e d w ith the rank of generah Active prepara- 

1 akes the 

command, tions for defence were made on every side. " We 
are busy," wrote a Scotchman in February, " preaching, pray- 
ing, and drilling ; could his Majesty and his subjects in Eng- 
land come hither, they will find a harder welcome than before, 
unless we be made quit of the bishops." 2 

On February 14, the Covenanters brought matters to a 
crisis. They appealed from the King to the English people. 
t They were loyal, they said, to their sovereign, and 
The Scottish most anxious to remain on good terms with their 
manifesto, brethren in the South. All the mischief which had 
happened had been the fault of some ' Churchmen of the 
greatest power in England.' These men had introduced inno- 
vations into their own Church, had fined and banished those 
who strove to resist the Church of Rome, and had finally inter- 
fered with the Scottish Church in order to create a precedent 
for similar work in England. Was the English nation willing 
to fight in such a cause? Already Papists Arundel, whose 
secret convictions were well known, was clearly pointed out 
were placed in command of the army preparing against 
Scotland. If war there was to be, it would be war for the 
re-establishment of the bishops. If an English Parliament 
were convened, it would approve the equity and loyalty of the 
Scots. 3 

Charles was stung to the quick. The appeal to an English 

1 Baillie, i. in. 

- Craig to Stewart, Feb. 12, S. P. Dom. ccccxii. 103. 

Push-worth, li, 798. 


Parliament was specially annoying, and the assertion that he 
Charles's was showing undue favour to the Catholics would be 
resentment. w jd e ly circulated in England. He had long been 
contending against the belief that Laud was a friend of the 
Papacy in disguise, and, in order to refute it, he had recently 
directed the Archbishop to publish his narrative of the Con- 

Feb. 10. ference in which, fifteen years before, he had upheld 
Publication the doctrines of the English Church against the 
Con/ere Jesuit Fisher. The book appeared on February 10, 
only to be received with jeers by Catholic and 
Puritan. 1 Laud could no longer count upon equitable con- 
sideration. At this very moment he was exposing himself to 
fresh obloquy by an unwise Star Chamber prosecution, directed 

Feb against his old antagonist, Bishop Williams. Certain 

Williams letters, written by a schoolmaster named Osbaldiston, 
The^star K were found in Williams's house at Buckden. In 
Chamber. jh ese letters an unnamed personage was irreverently 
styled ' the little urchin,' and ' the little meddling hocus-pocus.' 
There can be no reasonable doubt that Laud was intended. 
Williams suggested that the words referred to one Mr. Spicer. 
Williams was, however, condemned to pay a fine of 5,ooo/. to 
the King, and 3,ooo/. to the Archbishop, for having these 
letters in his possession. Osbaldiston, who was present in 
Court, slipped away as soon as he heard how matters were 
likely to go, and eluded all pursuit. He left behind him a 
written explanation that he had fled beyond Canterbury. 2 

Charles was able to fine and imprison his English subjects. 
The Scots were beyond his reach. On February 27 he 

Feb. 27. published a proclamation in reply to the Scottish 
The Kings manifesto. It was untrue, he said in effect, that the 
tion. religion of Scotland was attacked. It was perfectly 

safe in his hands. The Scots were aiming at the destruction 
of monarchical government. They had been tampering with 
his English subjects, and were now preparing tc- invade Eng- 

1 Laud's Diary, Feb. 10, Works, iii. 231. Con to Barbtrini, Ff b ' f 

March 4, 

Add. MSS. 15,392, foL 52. 

2 Rush'iVorth, ii 803. 


land, in order that their leaders might repair their broken 
fortunes by the plunder of the South. 1 If he was now com- 
pelled to levy an army, it was not merely to vindicate his rights 
in Scotland. The very safety of England was at stake. " The 
question," he said, "is not now whether a Service Book is to 
be received or not, nor whether episcopal government shall be 
continued or presbyterial admitted, but whether we are their 
King or not" This proclamation was appointed to be read in 
every parish church in England. 2 It was speedily 
Deliara^ e followed by the Large Declaration, as it was called, 
a portly volume in which the whole story of the 
misdeeds of the Scots was set forth at length from the King's 
point of view. The writer, a Scotchman, named Dr. Balcan- 
qual, had accompanied Hamilton to Glasgow as his chaplain. 
He now received the Deanery of Durham as the reward of his 

In one point, at least, Charles was undoubtedly right. The 
coming war would be a struggle for supremacy. Monarchy, 
Character of as ^ na ^ Deen hitherto understood, was now chal- 
the struggle, lenged by the principle of national sovereignty 
clothed in ecclesiastical forms. The issue thus raised could 
hardly be fought out in Scotland alone. As the Scottish 
manifesto declared, ttie future of England was involved in the 
strife which was now opening in the North. 3 

1 Charles had said much the same thing of Eliot, when he described 
him as ' an outlaw desperate in mind and fortune. ' 

2 Rush-worth, ii. 830. 

3 Amongst the Melboutne MSS. is a letter, dated Feb. 20, from Argyle, 
and apparently addressed to Laud, in which the writer attempts to minimise 
the differences between them. " Although," he says, " I do not under- 
take to excuse anything His Majesty is pleased to disallow, yet with your 
lordship's favour, I believe you shall find that the complaints of that pres- 
bytery your lordship mentions, which we call our Church or General 
Assembly, is concerning very essential differences between the Reformed 
Church and that of Rome ; and so far only against bishops as they trans- 
gress the laws and lawful constitutions of this Church and kingdom ; for 
whether or not there be a fundamental point in religion is not here ques- 
tioned nor determined : nor what is fundamental excltunrt do I think any 
man will presume to define, so as it may be a sufficient rule for others." 


farther on, Argyle complains that his countrymen are accused of dis- 
obedience, ' when truly they only oppose voluntary and constrained actions 
in religious duties in relation to him who requires cheerfulness at our hands, 
which I hope no Christian will deny ? ' 

In the last passage Argyle goes, from a modern point of view, to the root 
of the matter. He ends with a stroke at Laud's interference. "So," he 
writes, " I wish your Lordship and all others of the reformed Church (not 
knowing the constitutions of this) were as charitable to it, and meddled as 
little in disquieting her peace as, I hope, they have carefully prevented 
that fault by their proceedings here." 




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